Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

John Legend, Usher and Alicia Keys to perform at 2020 BET Awards tonight

The three-hour awards ceremony, celebrating Black entertainment and culture, will be streamed online

John Legend and Alicia Keys are to perform at the BET Awards 2020. EPA 
John Legend and Alicia Keys are to perform at the BET Awards 2020. EPA 

BET will celebrate its 40th year as a network, as well as it 20th awards show, on Sunday in Los Angeles (4am, Monday, June 29 in the UAE). But the event will go on virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-hour show will be jam-packed with heavy hitters currently dominating the pop charts and streaming services, including DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, Summer Walker, Kane Brown and Chloe x Halle. All-stars like Alicia Keys, John Legend, Lil Wayne, Jennifer Hudson, Nas, Questlove and Black Thought of the Roots, Public Enemy and Usher will also perform.

The show is an annual celebration of black entertainment and culture, and this year’s ceremony will be the first major awards show since the death on May 25 of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, which sparked global protests aimed at reforming police actions and removing statues and symbols considered racist from public places.

Comedian, actress and TV personality Amanda Seales will host the awards, which be broadcast on CBS for the first time. The show will also be broadcast on BET and BET HER at 8pm EDT (4am GST) and available to stream at bet.com.

Drake is the leading nominee: He’s up for six honours, including video of the year and best male hip-hop artist. For both best collaboration and the viewer’s choice award, Drake is nominated twice thanks to the hits No Guidance with Chris Brown and Life Is Good with Future.

Drake performing in London. The Canadian rapper and singer’s fifth full-length album has broken streaming records AP
Drake performing in London. The Canadian rapper and singer’s fifth full-length album has broken streaming records AP

Ricch and Megan Thee Stallion follow Drake with five nominations each. Megan Thee Stallion, who recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her Beyonce-assisted Savage remix, is nominated for video of the year, best female hip-hop artist, best collaboration, the viewer’s choice award and album of the year for Fever.

Ricch, who won his first Grammy Award earlier this year, also topped the pop charts with his upbeat hit The Box. The video for that song is nominated for video of the year alongside DaBaby’s Bop; DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle and John Legend’s Higher; Doja Cat’s Say So; Megan The Stallion’s Hot Girl Summer and Drake and Brown’s No Guidance.

The show will feature appearances from famous faces including Quincy Jones, Samuel L Jackson, Michael B Jordan, Viola Davis, Billy Porter, Debbie Allen, Naomi Campbell, Sterling K Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, Misty Copeland, Lena Waithe and Lizzo, who is also nominated for four awards.

Others set to perform include Rapsody, YG, Wayne Brady, Jay Rock, SiR, D Smoke, Kierra Sheard and Karen Clark Sheard, who is nominated for the Dr Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award as a member of the Clark Sisters. Her competition includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, John P Kee, PJ Morton and Kanye West, who released a gospel album last year.

Updated: June 28, 2020 08:41 PM

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