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10 Most Memorable Moments By Black Men at the BET Awards

Over the past 20 years, BET has brought us the most iconic and memorable awards experience for Black people. BET truly stands true on its slogan of "Black Star Power." There have been some of the most creative and talented individuals who have graced the stage, been honored, or killed it by performing top hits and wowing the crowd. To celebrate 20 years of the BET Awards, we want you all to take a look as we reminisce on the top 10 most memorable moments for Black men.

Michael Jackson Tributes James Brown's lifetime achievement at the 2003 BET Awards

Now we all know that some legends grace the stage each year at this award show, but nothing compares to the iconic legendary moment when Michael Jackson participated in a tribute to his idol James Brown. Brown was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for all of his tenacity and talent throughout his entire career. From hits such as Get on Up, I'm Black and I'm Proud, and I Feel Good, Brown has paved the way for many artists such as the legend himself Michael Jackson who went on to become one of the greatest artists of all time.

Tyler Perry is honored with the 2019 Ultimate Icon Award

I don’t know about you, but when I think of thee Tyler Perry, I think of a creative and innovative genius! This man has become one of the most iconic film directors, writer, actor and so much more since the early 2000s. His hilariously iconic role as Mabel Simmons aka Madea made Perry a G.O.A.T. among Hollywood's finest. It was no more than right for him to receive this Ultimate Icon honor. From stage plays to the big screen, Tyler Perry is truly an Icon!

Chance the Rapper is the First Rapper to be honored with the Humanitarian Award

One thing about celebrities is if they ride for something they truly ride for it. When I make this statement, I think of the super talented Chance the Rapper. In 2017 BET honored him with this important award that speaks volumes to one's character. Chance has held a Special Olympics concert, pledged 1 million dollars to mental health services as well as gave 1 million dollars to Chicago Public Schools. That’s just to name a few! Along with that, Chance has made a great musical career for himself since dropping his debut mixtape The Big Day. We definitely can add Chance the Rapper to the list of hip-hop artists who truly give back.

Chris Brown tributes Michael Jackson at the 2010 BET Awards

One thing I knew growing up in the early 2000s, was that Chris Brown loved and idolized Michael Jackson! This tribute happened during the peak of the Chris Brown and Rihanna dispute, so you know that Brown had to give all that he had to make this tribute one to remember. The part that got me was Brown crying while singing Man in the Mirror. I mean, there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at all. The performance gave what it was supposed to give! Iconic tribute!

The late Nipsey Hussle is honored with the BET Humanitarian Award 2019

What a time these past 2 years have been. From the pandemic, all the way back to losing one of the greatest souls to grace this earth, Nipsey Hussle. When Nipsey was killed in Los Angeles, it shocked the entire community of black America. Not only was Nipsey a talented and creative rapper, he truly was a humanitarian. A man who believed in his community and the betterment of it. A man who not only talked the talk of giving back, but he walked the walk as well. The tribute from John Legend, T.I., and DJ Khaled moved the entire audience. Check out this memorable moment from the 2019 ceremony.

The Fugees Reunite at the 2005 BET Awards

Talk about 90s nostalgia. This iconic group came back one more time for us to relive and enjoy the hits that they brought us in the early to mid-90s. Talented black men Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michel were joined by the lovely Lauryn Hill to create timeless hits like Killing Me Softly, Fu-Gee-La, Ready or Not, and No Woman No Cry. This performance was a moment to truly remember. They are one of the best groups of all time. The accolades are endless for the Fugees.

D’Angelo Owns the Stage with His Legendary Hits

At the 2012 BET Awards, the smooth and suave D’Angelo reminded us exactly who he was and still is. This man is a creative genius who has glided his way through the music industry with and a string of hits, albums, and credits. He came to perform his legendary hit Untitled and swayed the crowd yet again with his melodic vibe. One of the greatest artists of the 90s, D’Angelo made this performance to show that he still got it on lock. If you don’t believe me, just take look at the Verzuz he did earlier this year and you’ll see what I'm talking about.

Actor Jesse Williams is Honored with the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award

When you think of Jesse Williams, you normally think of the successful actor who has the looks and the talent to match. But what some don’t know is Jesse is a true activist. From being the youngest member of the board of directors at The Advancement Project which is civil rights think tank and advocacy group, to also being the executive producer of Question Bridge: Black Males, a multifaceted media project, Jesse is deeply involved in the rights of black Americans. His Humanitarian Award speech was one to remember as it touched several topics highlighting racial injustice, police brutality, and the invention of whiteness.

The Exonerated Five Make an Appearance Following the Successful When They See Us film

NYC is one of the greatest cities in America. It has everything you need from activities, the music industry, the Broadway film industry and so much more. But what some don’t know is NYC can be a tough place, especially for black men. In the year of 1989, 5 young men of color were convicted of a crime that took place in the city's renowned Central Park. It was known and the Central Park Jogger Case in where a white woman was beaten and raped by a young male. The 5 young men were wrongfully convicted and the NYPD was guilty of coercion. Many years later they were finally exonerated and there have been several documentaries and films about the case and their lives. The most successful film to date is Ava DuVernay's When They See Us. It was amazing to see them grown and together on the BET stage.

New Edition Kills the Stage with Their 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Performance

The 3-part movie special for the New Edition Story was a movie to remember. It showed every single thing that occurred with the group from good down to the dirty bad. Nonetheless, New Edition is one of the most celebrated male groups of all time and this award was long overdue. To add to that, the group brought on stage and performed with the actors who portrayed them in the movie. Such an iconic performance and so live!

Catch the 2021 BET Awards on BET coming this Sunday June 27th at 8/7 CST. Follow the BET Awards on IG @betawards.

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