Unforgettable Moments from 50 Years of Hip Hop: Inside the BET Awards 2023
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By Philtrina Farquharson | Contributing Writer
The stage was set for an unforgettable night of honoring Black excellence in music, television, film, and sports as the highly anticipated BET Awards 2023 took center stage. Held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, this star-studded event captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. As the evening unfolded, the icon Beyoncé and SZA emerged as the top winners, earning well-deserved recognition for their outstanding contributions to entertainment. With their remarkable achievements, they were on display brightly alongside a stellar lineup of nominees, showcasing the incredible talent and artistry within our community.
One of the standout moments of the night was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to hip-hop legend Busta Rhymes. The prestigious honor was accompanied by heartfelt introductions from Marlon Wayans and Swizz Beatz. Busta Rhymes, known for his prolific career spanning over three decades, received a standing ovation as he accepted the award. In a memorable tribute performance, Busta Rhymes was joined on stage by an all-star lineup including Bia, Coi Leray, M.O.P., Rah Digga, Spice, Supercat, and Swiss Beatz.
The late Tina Turner, a global powerhouse in the music industry, was paid homage by music legend Patti LaBelle, who delivered a performance of “The Best.” The tribute served as a poignant reminder of Turner’s immense impact and influence across the industry.
Another heartwarming moment that delighted the audience and viewers was the reunion of Quavo and Offset, who took the stage for a surprise performance. Part of the popular group Migos, they delivered a tribute in honor of the late member Takeoff. Their performance showcased their unity and marked their first appearance as a duo since Takeoff’s passing.
In the midst of the glitz and glamour, nominee for Best Actor, Amin Joseph, shared his excitement about the momentous occasion, stating, “I’ll be appearing in the FX series Justified this summer. Attending the 50th anniversary of hip-hop as a nominee at the 2023 BET Awards was special and fitting for the dynamic character that I played on Snowfall for the last six years. Being recognized by the culture is everything.” Joseph’s heartfelt words underscored the significance of the event, highlighting the profound impact that the celebration of Black artistry has on both the artists and the community at large.
The evening was a celebration of the rich history of Hip Hop, with Kid Capri taking the audience on a journey through the genre’s best songs from the past five decades. Esteemed artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Chief Keef, E-40, EPMD, Fabolous, Ja Rule, Jeezy, MC Lyte, Redman, Remy Ma, Soulja Boy, Styles P, Trick Daddy, Trina, Warren G, and many more graced the stage and showcased their incredible talent.
The complete list of winners included notable names such as SZA, who won Album of the Year for “SOS,” and Beyoncé, who shared the Album of the Year honor for “Renaissance.” Future’s collaboration “Wait For U” featuring Drake and Tems won Best Collaboration, and Coco Jones was recognized as the Best New Artist. The BET Her Award went to Beyoncé for her soul-stirring song “Break My Soul,” while the Video of the Year.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 25: (L-R) Trevor Smith, T’Khi Wood-Smith, Cacie Smith, Busta Rhymes, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award, Mariah Smith, Trillian Wood-Smith, and T’ziah Wood-Smith pose in the press room during the BET Awards 2023 at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)