Charlie Wilson

HOLLYWOOD—Awards season is still a few months away, but in the music arena its in full-force as the 2013 BET Awards were held on Sunday, June 30 live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Big winners of the night included Kendrick Lamar who took home three awards including Best New Artist. Rapper Drake also had a good night taking home the big award of the night, Video of the Year for “Started From the Bottom.”

The ceremony was hosted by comedian Chris Tucker who brought the laughs.  Being funny and attempting to be funny is not the same thing, but Tucker brought a frenetic energy to the awards show that hasn’t been seen since comedian Monique hosted back in 2003 and 2004. His impeccable comedic timing and witty jokes were beyond entertaining, taking jabs at performers jumping into the audience. At times, Tucker did attempt to extend the joke a bit longer than needed.

The show opened with Chris Brown hitting the stage performing a medley of his hits, with a bit of assistance from Nicki Minaj. The performance was a bit of an “I’m sorry” to the public, that was not as convincing as one would suspect it to be. It wasn’t the best opening number in my opinion compared to those of the past. Tucker did a hilarious bit talking about Michael Jackson and his love for rap music which was absolute hilarity; some of his funniest jokes of the night.

Best Male R&B Pop Artist went to Miguel, while Rihanna won the trophy for Best Female R&B Pop Artist, but was a no-show to the ceremony.

Robin Thicke hit the stage to perform his summer anthem “Blurred Lines.”  It is indeed one sultry, undeniable hit that is inescapable. It was quite awesome to see the crowd participate in singing Ronald Isley’s classic hit “Contagious,” it was an anthem leading to the introduction to R&B superstar R. Kelly. He sang a string of hits including “I Wish,” “A Woman’s Worth,” “Bump N’ Grind,” “Ignition,” a thrill to hear classics once again. Mariah Carey hit the stage with Miguel to perform her ubiquitous hit “Beautiful.” It was not as big ballad as I hoped for the song to be considering it’s such a catchy tune.

Best Actor was awarded to Jamie Foxx for his work in “Django Unchained,” while his co-star Kerry Washington won Best Actress.  Nicki Minaj was extremely gracious while she took the stage to accept her award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Best Male Hip-Hop Artist went to Kendrick Lamar.

Charlie Wilson was given the Lifetime Achievement Award with tributes from India Arie, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder; it was a musical highlight of the ceremony.  Charlie then hit the stage after giving his acceptance speech.  Snoop Dogg and Pharrell then joined Wilson on-stage for their rendition of “Beautiful.” Hands down the best performance of the night as the crowd was thoroughly enthralled with the musical acts.

Rapper J. Cole hit the stage pouring his heart to the stage. His lyrics are indeed substantial, poignant and the truth. The trophy for Best Collaboration went to ASAP featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar “Problems.”

Overall I though the ceremony got off to a good start, but slowed mid-way through, but picked up its steam in the final moments.  Not the best ceremony as compared to past others, but indeed an entertaining show.  I will admit the show stretched a bit long clocking in a little over three and a half hours.  That’s longer than the Academy Awards!

By LaDale Anderson