BET Awards 2013: A Show Stolen by Performances

July 7, 2013
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Stretching three-and-a-half hours last Sunday night was the energy-fueled BET Awards, which provided fans with a fast-paced spectacle heavy with high-profile performances. Focusing more on the entertainment of the show than its actual purpose – the awards – the BETs streamed live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and featured some of music’s biggest stars.

Taking the stage for a top-notch opening act was hip-hop great Chris Brown, who performed a medley of his latest songs. Joining him onstage for parts of the medley was rapping queen Nicki Minaj.

An energetic Justin Timberlake took the stage with soul legend Wilson for a medley of hits, before Timblerlake was joined by Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg and India.Arie to pay tribute to Wilson, the night’s winner of the lifetime achievement award.

“Charlie Wilson is soul music.” Timberlake proclaimed. “His impact colors the work of many artists, which is basically my way of saying I and a lot of other artists have stolen from him.”

Setting the stage on fire was Ciara, who wowed audiences with a rendition of her hit “Body Party”. Adding fuel to the fire was Wilson, Robin Thicke, and Pharrell with their smash No. 1 hit, “Blurred Lines”.

Further performers included Kendrick Lamar with 2 Chainz, Miguel, Mariah Carey and J. Cole, and a trifecta involving Minaj, Ciara and Chris Brown.

Arguably the best part of the night was the glittering Janelle Monae’s showstopping performance of “Q.U.E.E.N.” with Erykah Badu, an act which successfully closed the show with a bang.

As far as awards go, the categories were awarded justly. Leading with 12 nominations was no-show Drake, who won Viewer’s Choice and Best Collaboration for the infectious “F—in’ Problems”, also featuring A$AP Rocky, Lamar and 2 Chainz. Lamar went home with Best New Artist, Male Collaboration, and Male Hip-Hop Artist. The Compton-bred 26-year-old gave a heartfelt, inspirational speech upon acceptance, telling viewers, “Most importantly to my little home boys and my home girls back in the city, you looking at me on TV right now, I came up in that same county building, food stamps, welfare section eight…this is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to.”

Miguel snagged the award for Best Male R&B Pop Artist, while Nicki Minaj took home Best Female Hip-Hop Artist for the 4th year in a row.

Paying tribute to achievements outside of music, the BETs honored Jamie Foxx with Best Actor and Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas for Sportswoman of the Year.

Overall, it was an energy-driven show that worked to wow audiences from a performance point of view. Featuring some of today’s best musical talents, the star-studded awards was a memorable one that next year will have a hard time topping.

 

-Shelley DeHekker

@shelleydehekker

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