Highlights, photos and the winners from Sunday night's BET Awards
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Highlights, photos and the winners from Sunday night's BET Awards

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beyoncé used her platform Sunday while accepting the BET humanitarian award to relay a direct appeal to viewers: Go vote.

See a gallery of images from Sunday's show and the complete list of winners at the end of this story

"Your voices are being heard and you're proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain," said the superstar singer at the BET Awards, which celebrated its 20 years of highlighting excellence in Black-led entertainment. But the ceremony, filmed virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, kept much of its focus on topics such as systematic racism and equal rights.

Beyoncé was honored for her philanthropic work and relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. She said voting in the upcoming election was the way to end a "racist and unequal system" in America.

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, Beyonce accepts the humanitarian award during the BET Awards. 

"I'm encouraging you to take action," she said following an introduction by former first lady Michelle Obama.

The singer dedicated her award to the Black Lives Matter movement, and encouraged activists to continue to push forward.

"We have to vote like our lives depend on it, because it does," she said.

Here are some additional highlights from the three-hour show broadcast on CBS, BET and BET Her:

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, rapper DaBaby performs "Rockstar" as an actor playing a police officer presses his knee on DaBaby's neck, replicating the last few moments of George Floyd's life, during the BET Awards. 

1. DaBaby's message

Rapper DaBaby lay on the pavement while an actor playing a police officer pressed his knee on the rapper's neck.

The reenactment at the beginning of the multi-platinum rapper's performance offered a glimpse into the last moments of the life of George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police last month. DaBaby rapped a verse from the Black Lives Matter remix of his hit song "Rockstar" with Roddy Ricch at the awards.

While holding a baseball bat, DaBaby then stood on a stage behind a group of people who had their fists raised high while others held "Black Lives Matter" signs.

His performance also featured images from protests, a reflection of the current world in the wake of Floyd's death and the deaths of others, including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, Lil Wayne performs a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant during the BET Awards.

2. Weezy honors Kobe

On a virtual stage, Lil Wayne paid tribute to the Black Mamba.

The rapper honored the late Kobe Bryant with a performance of his song "Kobe Bryant," highlighting the NBA icon's biggest moments. He paid tribute to Bryant who died in a helicopter crash in January that killed eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Wayne weaved in new lyrics as Bryant's No. 8 and 24 flashed behind him. His performance showed video clips of the Los Angeles Lakers star dunking on Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, hitting game-winning shots and highlights from his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

"I call him King Bryant," Wayne rapped. "Now let the crown show."

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, Wayne Brady performs a tribute to the late Little Richard during the BET Awards.

3. Little Richard Bop

Wayne Brady transformed from his normal actor-comedian self into the flamboyant character of the late Little Richard.

Wearing a gold glittery tuxedo, Brady put on his best emulation during a tribute to Richard, who died of bone cancer in May. He rolled around on the top of a piano as he sung a medley hits from Richard, considered one of the chief architects of rock 'n' roll.

"Shut up!" Brady blurted out in the same manner as Richard. Some of Richard's hits Wayne performed included "Lucy," "Good Golly," "Miss Molly" and "Tutti Frutti."

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, Megan Thee Stallion, center, performs during the BET Awards. 

4. Mad Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion took to the desert in a performance themed after the "Mad Max" films.

Sporting a feathered crop top, she danced and twerked alongside her dancers who wore masks and maintained social distance amid the coronavirus pandemic. She performed her Beyoncé-assisted hit "Savage Remix" and "Girls in the Hood," a revamp of Easy E's 1987 song "Boyz-N-The Hood."

In the post-apocalyptic setting, she and her dancers rode through the desert landscape on dusty ATVs. The rapper closed out her performance after jumping on a silver-spike vehicle.

Megan Thee Stallion's performance came after she won best female hip-hop artist.

2020 BET Awards

In this video grab issued Sunday, June 28, 2020, by BET, host Amanda Seales speaks during the BET Awards.

5. Stirring opening

It didn't take long for host Amanda Seales to touch on equal rights for African Americans.

In a stirring monologue, Seales said she was chosen to host the show because she's been "telling y'all everybody's racist." She touched on several topics including the death of Breonna Taylor, racial equality and took a jab at actor Terry Crews who faced recent backlash for his "Black supremacy" comment.

Seales joked she would rather talk about issues other than race, but "racism always beats me to it."

Her monologue came after an all-star performance of Public Enemy's 1989 anthem "Fight the Power." The performance featured group members Chuck D and Flavor Flav along with Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody and YG — who added lyrics to the song and name-dropped Taylor.

During the performance, video clips were shown of the national protests over the deaths of unarmed Black people including Floyd, Arbery and Taylor.

The 12-year-old sensation Keedron Bryant also performed in a cappella "I Just Wanna Live," a song about being a young black man that earned him a record deal.


Photos from Sunday's show

A gallery of 26 video grabs shared via BET from Sunday night's show.


The winners

A list of winners at the 2020 BET Awards, which aired virtually Sunday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Video of the year: DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, "Higher"

Best female R&B/pop artist: Lizzo

Best male R&B/pop artist: Chris Brown

Best female hip-hop artist: Megan Thee Stallion

Best male hip-hop artist: DaBaby

Best new artist: Roddy Ricch

Best group: Migos

Best collaboration: Chris Brown featuring Drake, "No Guidance"

Album of the year: Roddy Ricch, "Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial"

Humanitarian award: Beyoncé

Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award: Kirk Franklin, "Just for Me"

Best actress: Issa Rae

Best actor: Michael B. Jordan

Best movie: "Queen & Slim"

Youngstars award: Marsai Martin

Sportswoman of the year: Simone Biles

Sportsman of the year: LeBron James

BET HER award: Beyoncé featuring Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid and Saint JHN, "Brown Skin Girl"

Video director of the year: Teyana Taylor

Best international act: Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Viewer's choice: Best new international act: Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)

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