The 2014 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards, dubbed the ‘Black World Cup’ by comedian Chris Rock, who served as the host of the awards show, were held on Sunday night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
The night featured unforgettable moments, with Rock (who pulled Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza delivery move at this year’s Oscar Awards, handed out Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles to the audience), electrifying performances by Lionel Richie, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (who played the piano and serenaded the audience with his hit songs Easy and got the crowd dancing to All Night Long) and emotional speeches, including one from a tearful August Alsina, nominated for four honours, during his acceptance speech for the night’s first award.
“I represent the struggle,” the New Orleans newcomer said onstage as he received the award for Best New Artiste. “This BET Award is not for me; it’s for the people.” A Isina also won the BET Viewer’s Choice Award.
African artistes were also at the annual awards with Kenyan award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar earlier this year, scooping the BET Award for Best Actress, beating out Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union.
The actress, who did not attend the awards, tweeted, “@BETAwards, thank you for the #BestActressaward: another blessing to joyfully count. May the force be with you. -LN#BETAwards.”
The movie that propelled Nyong’o into super-stardom, 12 Years A Slave, also won the BET Award for Best Movie.
Since 2010, the BET Awards have recognised artistes of African descent in various musical genres in the ‘Best International Act: Africa’ category. Nominated in that category were some of Africa’s biggest and best artistes, including South African pop duo, Mafikizolo; Ghanaian hip-hop artiste, Sarkodie; Nigerian artistes, Tiwa Savage and Davido; Toofan from Togo and Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania.
And since 2010, the BET Award for Best International Act (Africa) went to Nigeria again; this time to Davido, who also recently took home two awards for Best Male and Artiste of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) held in Durban, South Africa. Taking to his Instagram, Davido wrote: “Victory!! Africa We did it! Thanks to all my fans!! WE WON @BETAwards BEST AFRICAN ACT 2014!! so happy!! Time to party!”
This year, for the first time since the introduction of the ‘Best International Act: Africa’ category, African artistes performed during the pre-BET Awards events, at the BET Experience at L.A. BET nominees, Mafikizolo, Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage and Nigerian hip-hop superstar, Ice Prince (who won the 2013 BET Award for Best International Act: Africa) performed at the “Music Around the Globe” showcase last Saturday.
This was Mafikizolo and Tiwa Savage’s first ever performance in the United States and it followed their wins at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in the Best Group and Best Female categories respectively.
“The BET nomination and the opportunity to perform during the BET Awards weekend was a big win for us!” said Nhlanhla of Mafikizolo after performing their hit song, Khona.
Sarkodie, who took home a MAMA for Best Hip Hop, said “This is our time Africa!” just before he took the stage.
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS
Best Group: Young Money
Best Male R&B/Pop Artiste: Pharrell Williams
Best Female R&B/Pop Artiste: Beyonce
Best Collaboration: Beyonce featuring Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Subway Sportsman of the Year: Kevin Durant
Subway Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Video of the Year: Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Video Director of the Year: Hype Williams
Best Male Hip Hop Artiste: Drake
Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Movie: “12 Years a Slave”
Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o
YoungStars Award: Keke Palmer
Best Gospel Artiste: Tamela Mann
Best New Artist: August Alsina
Centric Award: Jhené Aiko – “The Worst”
Best International Act, Africa: Davido (Nigeria)
Best International Act, UK: Krept & Konan
Coca-Cola Viewer’s Choice Award: August Alsina