The 2016 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California were full of entertainment wows, provoking and poignant speeches plus a whole lot of beautiful (and hideous) dresses, suits and styles. Hereâs our round-up of the best moments and the best and worst dressed.
Jesse Williams tackles the color controversy with passion and meaning
Star of the long-running medical drama, Greyâs Anatomy, Jesse Williams won the Humanitarian Award. He delivered a speech that ABC News called inspiring and reminded spectators of the need to keep the political close in view and paid homage to black women especially:
“The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize,â he said, dedicating his award to black women âwho have spent their lives dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves.”
Samuel L. Jackson takes home the Lifetime and touches us with his boyhood dream
Samuel L. Jacksonâs career has spanned over 40 years with continued success still on the cards. The Hollywood veteran took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by the director, Spike Lee. Jacksonâs speech wowed the crowd and hammered in the message of night:
â[As] a young man who grew up in segregated Tennessee, nobody told me I could be this,â he told the audience. âSo, here I am, and here you are. Thank God for that.â (US Magazine)
Jennifer Hudson gives us chills with her mesmerizing vocal tribute to Prince
There were many tributes to late artist, Prince peppered across the entire ceremony but one of the most powerful came from Jennifer Hudson who belted out a soul altering rendition of Purple Rain. For her performance she wore a stark white hooded playsuit that took us back to the naughties-style but remained in-tune with the fashion of the moment.
Beyonce was the biggest award winner of the night taking home four awards including the Coca-Cola Viewerâs Choice Award for Formation and Best Female RnB/Pop Artist. Appearing in a stunning princess gown with a 21st century twist: less pouf and more body-hugging; less tulle and more sleek; whilst remaining true to a feminine puffed sleeve and plenty of diamantes, Beyonce looked like royalty at the 2016 BET Awards.
It wasnât just her dress that stole the show. She kicked off the night with a surprise performance of Freedom before teeaming up with rapper Kendrick Lamar. The most heart rendering moment being their silence as Beyonceâs dancers strutted to the stage to Martin Luther King Juniorâs famous speech, I Have a Dream. This year, it was going to be about politics and action as well as beauty, creativity and awe-inspiring talent.
Nomiee for Best International Act (Africa), the Tanzanian artist Diamond Platnumz shows the world his style is equally as impressive as his talent. This sharp suit with an unravelled polkadot cravat displays a cool but original style. We salute you!
American Idol star and singer, Fantasia Barrino shows Hollywood that curves are not to be feared. In fact her smooth sihoutte in this barely-there skin like fabric is enviable. She also shows us that a pair of large boobs can be contained and displayed with grace and taste.
If her style isnât enough to wow you then her incredible performance of You are my Friend in an amazing tribute to the soul legend, Patti LaBelle.
Best Actress nominee, Gabrielle Union stunned us with this beautiful gown on the other side of the body coin. Gabrielle shows off a smaller bust with pride and style. She rocks her natural body without padding and pushing, just perfectly herself.
Ethiopian-American rapper Lola Monroe rocks one of this seasonâs hottest colors, dubbed by Apartment Therapy as âthe new neutralâ on the design scene. Here, Lola takes the new neutral of dusky pink to the red carpet with stunning and wow-worthy results. We love it.
American actress and singer-songwriter, Naturi rocks the batik trend this summer is this stunning dress drawing out the bright and colourful feel of the souk. The designer, Kyemah McEntyre herself also has a wonderful story. Her self-designed prom dress using her now famous batik style crashed the internet and thrust the teen into the limelight. In fact, Naturi herself made a direct request to Kyemah to design the dress, according to Vibe.
Janelle Monetâs performance took on a whole array of famous Prince tunes including the famous, Kiss. However, we were less than impressed with her chosen attire. In fact, at first we thought she had come as everyoneâs favorite good-guy-at-hear-villian, Beetlejuice!
Weâre worried that the monochrome look has simply died a death with Nandi Mngomaâs interpretation adding in a badly placed tulip waistline. Itâs such as shame as the base structure of this dress with the foaming fishtail is absolutely stunning.
Toni Braxon wowed us with her performance but made us want to hide with shame in her dress for the night. Combining the reload 90âs trend for sheer with disastrous results which include side boobage spill and some strange criss-crossing body fabric inducing more flesh spill-over. Toni, this is not a good look.
Jidenna and Rosalyn Gold Onwude
Alone, these outfits are pretty bad, but we might have overlooked Rosalynâs yellow mini-dress as hey, we like the shape. But unfortunately, paired up with Jidenaâs eye-aching ensemble the combination of colors is clash-tastic.
So who were the BET 2016 winners? Hereâs the list:
- Best Male R&B/Pop Artist — Bryson Tiller
- Best Female R&B/Pop Artist — BeyoncÃ©
- Best Actor — Michael B. Jordan
- Best Actress — Taraji P. Henson
- Best Movie — “Straight Outta Compton”
- Best New Artist — Bryson Tiller
- Video of the Year — BeyoncÃ©, “Formation”
- Best Male Hip-Hop Artist â Drake
- Best Female Hip-Hop Artist â Nicki Minaj
- Best Collaboration — Rihanna ft. Drake, “Work”
- Best Group — Drake and Future
- Best Gospel — Kirk Franklin
- Youngsters Award — Amandla Stenberg
- Centric Award — BeyoncÃ©, “Formation”
- Video Director of the Year — Director X
- Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Inspirational Award — Kirk Franklin
- Coca-ColaViewers’ Choice Award — BeyoncÃ©, “Formation”
- Sportsman of the Year — Stephen Curry
- Sportswoman of the Year â Serena Williams
- Best International Act Africa — Wizkid (Nigeria)
- Best International Act U.K. — Skepta
- Humanitarian Award — Jesse Williams
- Lifetime Achievement Award — Samuel L. Jackson