You know it’s going to be a good event when the opening act involves a surprise performance by Beyoncé, and what followed that jaw-dropper during Sunday night’s BET Awards did not disappoint. Click through to see all of the night’s best moments from the carpet to the stage and beyond.
Tonight's silver carpet was anything but boring, with talents like Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Mya, Gabrielle Union, host Tracee Ellis Ross and more bringing their boldest looks. Of her striped Sass & Bide ensemble, Monáe told E!, "I wanted to do something that felt Prince-inspired as well as Janelle Monáe classic."
Bey's Surprise Performance
With her intense surprise performance of "Freedom," Beyonce proved once and for all that she's in a league of her own as she manages to outdo even her own past efforts with each new artistic endeavor. Sunday's rousing performance opened to the sounds of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and featured another surprise performance by Kendrick Lamar. We have no idea how she's going to top this marquee moment but we know, somehow, she will.
The Muhammad Ali Tribute
Muhammad Ali's youngest daughter Laila took to the stage to pay tribute to her late father: "My father once said, ‘If people love each other as much as they love me, it’d be a better world.’ If he was here today, he would humbly ask you to pray not just for our family, but for all of mankind.”
Chloe X Halle's Big Annoucement
Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey, better known as Chloe X Halle, revealed tonight that they will be opening for the European leg of Bey's Formation Tour. The teenagers also performed "Drop" flawlessly during tonight's show, and we now see why Bey's grooming them to be the next, well, Bey(s).
The Many Prince Tributes
Dave Chapelle, Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly, Maxwell, Erykah Badu and more paid tribute to Prince, and each performance was more affecting than the next. Jennifer Hudson, however, finally moved us to tears with her soulful rendition of "Purple Rain." The singer even paid tribute to Prince's style as she performed, wearing a hooded dress reminiscent of an ensemble worn by Prince at the 2005 People's Choice Awards.
The Jesse Williams Mic Drop Moment
While accepting the Humanitarian Award, Williams delivered an emotional speech thanking modern civil rights activists and black women specifically before referencing Tamir Rice and closing with these poetic lines: "We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil -- black gold! -- ghettoizing and demeaning our creations and stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real."