The 2022 BET Awards aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (June 26). Hosted by Taraji P. Henson for the second year in a row, the ceremony — billed as “culture’s biggest night” — celebrated “Black excellence.”
Doja Cat led in nominations with six, while Drake and Ari Lennox followed right behind with four each. Sean “Diddy” Combs was set to be honored with the lifetime achievement award, which will include the artist himself taking the stage for a star-studded performance set to include Mary J. Blige, Nas, Busta Rhymes and many others. (You can find the complete list of winners here.)
Lizzo, sparkling like a gold disco ball, kicked off the show with her performance of “About Damn Time.” Following that, Henson gave her opening monologue, during which she criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, lamenting that women now have fewer rights than firearms. “It’s about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman,” the Empire star said. “It’s a sad day in America. A weapon that can take lives has more rights than a woman that can give life if she wants to.” She was just one of several artists to address the loss of women’s right to safe abortions.
Beyond making political statements, the stars took the stage to stun with their performances, with surprises in numerous sets. Jack Harlow brought out Brandy, with whom he had playfully beefed earlier in the year. And in one moment that brought the audience to its feet, Mariah Carey came out to sing during Latto’s set.
Keep scrolling for more moments from the show, including some that you may not have seen on TV.