Silk Sonic, Kendrick Lamar & More Record-Setters at 2022 BET Awards

Silk Sonic, Kendrick Lamar and Tems were the top winners at the 2022 BET Awards, which were presented Sunday (June 26) at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Each won two awards.

Silk Sonic took album of the year for An Evening With Silk Sonic and best group for the second year in a row. In addition, the duo’s Anderson .Paak was named video director of the year.

Lamar won best male hip-hop artist for a record fifth time. He had shared the record for most wins in the category with Drake with four wins each. Lamar also took video of the year for “Family Ties,” a collab with his cousin, Baby Keem.

Tems took best international act and also best collaboration for Wizkid’s “Essence” on which she was featured (along with Justin Bieber). Tems joins a long line of artists from talent-rich Nigeria to win best international act. The Afrobeats singer follows Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, Ice Prince, 2face Idibia and D’banj.

The three artists who amassed the most nominations, Doja Cat (with six nods) and Ari Lennox and  Drake (with four nods each), were shut out in terms of awards.

This year saw several first-time winners in key categories, including best female R&B/pop artist (Jazmine Sullivan), best male R&B/pop artist (The Weeknd), and best actress (Zendaya).

The award for “Essence” is Bieber’s first BET Award. He was nominated 12 years ago for best new artist and a “fandemonium” award.

This is the third year in a row that the award for best female R&B/pop artist has gone to a first-time category champ. Lizzo and H.E.R. won the last two years. Just before that, three women – Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Rihanna – had a lock on the award for 13 consecutive years (2007-19).

To win best male R&B/pop artist, The Weeknd topped Chris Brown, a six-time winner in the category, among others. The Weeknd wasn’t present to accept his award.

Latto became the second female rapper to win the BET Award for best new artist. Nicki Minaj was the first 12 years ago. Minaj went on to receive a Grammy nomination for best new artist – a feat Latto is likely to match later this year when the nominations for the 65th annual Grammy Awards are announced.

Megan Thee Stallion won best female hip-hop artist for the third year in a row, the longest winning streak in that category since Minaj won seven years running from 2010-16.

Mary J. Blige won the BET Her award for “Good Morning Gorgeous.” It was Blige’s second win in the category, following “Strength of a Woman” four years ago. Beyoncé is the only other two-time winner in the category’s history. Blige accepted the award by noting that she won a lifetime achievement award three years ago, which, she said, usually means an artist is “over and done” in terms of awards.

Kirk Franklin and Lil Baby won the Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award for their collab “We Win.” Lil Baby, last year’s winner for best male hip-hop artist, is the first artist to win BET Awards in both hip-hop and gospel categories. This was Franklin’s sixth win in this category, which extends his record as the top winner in the category’s history. In his acceptance speech, Franklin saluted a fellow nominee, Maverick City Music (nominated for “Jireh,” a collab with Elevation Music), saying that they represent “the next generation of gospel music.”

King Richard won best movie and its star, Will Smith, won best actor for the third time. This allows Smith to tie Denzel Washington and Michael B. Jordan as the actor with the most wins in the history of the category. Smith, of course, won his first Oscar for the film but spoiled his night of triumph by taking the stage and slapping presenter Chris Rock, who had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. “The slap” was not mentioned on the BET show, and the awards to King Richard and Smith were not presented on-air.

Zendaya won best actress for her performances on HBO’s Euphoria and in the box-office smash Spider-Man: No Way Home. Zendaya, 25, is the youngest winner in the category since Jennifer Hudson, who was also 25 when she won 15 years ago for Dreamgirls. (Hudson was nominated again this year for her performance as Aretha Franklin in Respect.)

Sean “Diddy” Combs received the lifetime achievement award. He’s the second person who rose to fame as a rapper to win the award. The first was Queen Latifah, who received the honor last year. Combs was saluted warmly by Jay-Z, Ye (the former Kanye West) and Babyface, among others.

Marsai Martin, the 17-year-old co-star of ABC’s Black-ish, which ended an eight-year run in April, won the YoungStars award for the fourth consecutive year.

Giveon Performs Medley at 2022 BET Awards, Jokes About BET ‘Sabotaging’ His Mic After Technical Issues

Giveon closed out the 2022 BET Awards with a laid-back performance of some of his fan favorites at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (June 26) — and rolled with some unexpected technical issues.

Sporting a black studded button-down, white pants and black boots, the Long Beach native performed soft and shortened versions of his Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit “Heartbreak Anniversary,” “For Tonight” and “Lie Again” with a live band. The singer seemed to have technical difficulties while singing though, forcing him to awkwardly switch microphones before singing the latter song.

Following the performance, he jokingly tweeted, “Not @BET sabotaging my mic,” along with six cry-laughing emojis. He also poked fun at another artist’s beef with the network, adding: “@LilNasX I get it!!!!”

Giveon rose to fame in 2020 after Drake released “Chicago Freestyle” featuring his buttery, baritone vocals. The rising singer earned his first top 10 on the Billboard 200 the following year with his combination EPs When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time. The record opened at No. 5 the week after its release. Last Friday, Giveon released his debut album Give or Take and announced a headlining tour, which kicks off Aug. 16 in Philadelphia at The Metropolitan Opera House. On Sunday night, the 27-year-old was nominated for best male R&B/pop artist alongside Blxst, Chris Brown, Lucky Daye, Wizkid, Bleu and eventual winner The Weeknd. In 2021, he won the BET Award for best new artist.

Taraji P. Henson hosted the ceremony for a second year in a row. Sean “Diddy” Combs received the lifetime achievement award and performed a star-studded set that included Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, Nas and more. The tribute lasted 35 minutes and included a surprise appearance and speech from Kanye West. Doja Cat led the nominations this year with six, followed by Drake and Ari Lennox with four.

All the 2022 BET Awards Performances Ranked

The 2022 BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday (June 26) at the Microsoft Theater, and brought out some of the most prominent artists across the hip-hop, R&B, and Gospel spaces. From Sean “Diddy” Combs anchoring a mega-set for his lifetime achievement award performance to the young stars such as Jack Harlow, Latto, and Ella Mai bringing out household legends, the 2022 BET Awards were an event to behold.

Billboard ranked the performances of the night below. Check it out.

12. FireBoy DML, “Peru”

After Tems accepted the award for best collaboration on behalf of Wizkid’s “Essence (Remix),” Africa enjoyed its moment even longer when EMPIRE’s heralded rookie FireBoy DML dished out “Peru.” FireBoy did a commendable job representing the genre as he shouted out his homeland during his entrancing performance.

11. Giveon, “Heartbreak Anniversary,” “For Tonight” and “Lie Again”

Though he experienced technical difficulties while singing “Heartbreak Anniversary,” Giveon rebounded smoothly when he tapped into his debut album Give or Take. The singer regained his composure and angelically floated through “For Tonight” and “Lie Again” during the show’s conclusion.

10. Muni Long, “Time Machine” & “Hrs and Hrs”

Long’s outfit was probably one of the best — performance-wise — as she donned a pink feathery skirt long enough to use as its own red-carpet entry. First, she tantalized viewers with her latest record, “Time Machine,” before diving into her sultry single “Hrs and Hrs.” Long’s slivery vocals didn’t disappoint, as she also had some crowd participation on the song’s sticky hook.

9. Chance the Rapper, “The Highs & the Lows” 

Chance the Rapper’s penchant for stirring performances continued during the ceremony when he had his lyrical teammate Joey Bada$$ on hand to perform “The Highs & the Lows.” Chance’s creativity was on 10 as he wittingly placed the song’s lyrics onscreen for viewers so they didn’t miss a single step alongside the MCs. The lyrical exchange was a solid outing for Chance, who made his BET Awards return after a three-year hiatus.

8. Ella Mai, “DFMU,” “Keeps on Fallin’,” and “How”

A one-time BET Awards Amplify Stage performer, Ella Mai graced the main stage this year with a bevy of records. Though she first started a bit lackluster on “DFMU,” things were quickly reversed when Mai and Babyface injected color into her performance with their Tevin Campbell-sampled jam “Keeps on Fallin’.” Mai didn’t stop with the surprises, as she reeled in Roddy Ricch to give her an additional jolt with their breezy collab “How.”

7. Chloe Bailey, “Surprise” and “Treat Me”

Following up Puff’s Bad Boy medley isn’t an easy feat, but Chloe Bailey did a solid job in doing so. Bringing her new record “Surprise” to the BET Awards stage, Bailey didn’t hesitate to flaunt her sex appeal and seductive choreography as she brought out a man blindfolded to enjoy a free dance. After the steamy showcase, she capped her two-song set with “Treat Me.”

6. Doechii, “Persuasive” and “Crazy”

TDE’s latest signee strutted her way onto the BET Awards stage confidently. While her “Persuasive” performance was fun, it was “Crazy” that proved to be the winner of the two. After tossing her wig following “Persuasive,” Doechii’s frenetic energy was the driver in piecing together a formidable effort that should make Top Dawg comfortable knowing her potential as a live performer.

5. Kirk Franklin & Maverick City Music, “Kingdom” and “Melodies From Heaven”

Draped in black Mav City hoodies, the songwriting worship group Maverick City took the crowd of attendees to church during the show. After starting behind the piano, Franklin joined the festivities and enthralled the crowd with his high-octane energy and passionate declarations. Great move by BET to add Gospel into the fold and give the genre some love in a usually packed R&B and hip-hop field.

4. Latto, “It’s Givin” and “Big Energy”

Latto continued her strong run on the award circuit when she performed “It’s Givin” and “Big Energy.” After flexing her boss mentality on the former, Latto enlisted Young Dirty Bastard and the legendary Mariah Carey for a stroll down memory lane with a mashup of “Big Energy” and Carey’s hit “Fantasy.” Carey lit the stage up and shined with her enchanting vocals.

3. Jack Harlow, “Poison” and “First Class”

Sitting atop a washing machine, Harlow unleashed “Poison.” With the set staged like a pseudo house party, Harlow instantly earned brownie points when Lil Wayne joined the soiree as his guest verse. Then, Harlow had the crowd in a tizzy when he unwrapped his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single “First Class.”

With the attendees singing the Fergie-sampled hook, Harlow unlocked his BET Moment when he called on Brandy to rap her “First Class” freestyle alongside the Louisville slugger.  The onstage peace treaty was a scene-stealing moment for Harlow, who sparked conversation earlier in the evening for his support of Lil Nas X with his red-carpet attire.

2. Lizzo, “About Damn Time”

The vivacious pop superstar kicked off the 2022 BET Awards with an electric performance of her Hot 100 hit “About Damn Time.” With an army of curvy dancers dressed in glittery gold outfits, Lizzo punched in a swaggering rendition of her top five smash with her flute in tow. Not only did Lizzo serve looks, attitude, and a nod to body positivity, but her commanding effort left the crowd in a partying mood.

1. Diddy, hits medley

In honor of his lifetime achievement award, Diddy hit the reset button and took fans on a ride down memory lane. First, he made a pit stop and highlighted his run at Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records when he called on Jodeci and Mary J. Blige to perform “Come and Talk to Me” and “I’m Goin’ Down,” respectively. After the R&B medley, Diddy entered the Bad Boy phase of his career when he entered the stage with his ’90s classic “Victory.” Diddy didn’t slow down, and instead reunited with Shyne on stage to perform his hit “Bad Boyz.” He continued to steamroll through his golden era of hits when he clocked in “All About the Benjamins” with The Lox and Lil Kim, along with “I Need A Girl Pt. II.”

Though Kim stumbled on her lyrics, an animated Busta Rhymes later zoomed onstage and fervently rapped “Pass the Courvoisier,” even cleverly changing the drink of choice to Ciroc. After Bryson Tiller made a cameo for Diddy’s new single “Gotta Move On,” Diddy played a touching video from his late longtime girlfriend Kim Porter to introduce his Hot 100 No. 1 single “I’ll Be Missing You.” Alongside Maverick City Music and Faith Evans, Puff closed the performance with a heartwarming tribute to Porter and Biggie.