Cardi B, Queen Latifah, Lil Nas X top BET Awards: Full list of winners

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Cardi B’s “WAP” has new meaning at the BET Awards: winning and pregnant.

The Grammy-winning star debuted her baby bump during a live performance Sunday alongside husband Offset as well as Quavo and Takeoff of Migos. She also won video of the year for her Megan Thee Stallion-assisted No. 1 hit “WAP.”

Cardi B didn’t stay to accept the honor at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, but Megan Thee Stallion rushed to the stage to pick up the award, forgetting to thank Cardi during her speech.

But the “Savage” rapper made up for it when she won best female hip-hop artist moments later.

“I really forgot to say ‘thank you Cardi’ for even putting me on ‘WAP’ because it makes me feel so good to be acknowledged by one of my peers, who I think so highly of,” Megan Thee Stallion said. “I think so highly of all the women who was nominated in this category.”

Along with celebrating female artists, the BET Awards also highlighted gay pride with a seductive performance by Lil Nas X and Queen Latifah, who thanked her reported partner and son when she accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As she rattled on thank you’s, she said: “Ebony, my love, Rebel, my love.” The 51-year-old ended with: “Peace! Happy pride!”

Queen Latifah was honored for her illustrious career as a Grammy-winning rapper, a Golden Globe-winning actor and an Emmy-winning TV producer. Rapsody and Monie Love kicked off the tribute with a performance of “Ladies First,” which was followed by Lil Kim and MC Lyte rapping the classic “U.N.I.T.Y.”

Lil Nas X won over the crowd with his No. 1 hit “Call Me By Your Name,” which ended with the rapper locking lips with a male background dancer, as the crowd roared loudly. Some audience members jumped out of their seats in praise.

His stage was set in Ancient Egypt, much like Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” which Lil Nas X paid tribute to with a skilled dance break during the performance.

Mothers were also saluted during the three-hour-plus show: Queen Latifah, who attended with her father, held a photo on her mother onstage; Megan Thee Stallion remembered her mother, who died in 2019, during her speech: “She can’t be here with me today but I still think about her everyday and she is the reason why I keep going.” And Jazmine Sullivan — who won album of the year for her critically acclaimed EP “Heaux Tales” — attended the show with her mother, who is battling cancer.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago so we didn’t see any of this happening, but God has been so faithful to us and my mom is in remission,” she said. “This is my prize. This is my gift. It means more to me than anything that she’s here with me. She supported me all my life.”

The ceremony was dedicated to “the year of the Black women,” as actor and host Taraji P. Henson put at the top of the show. Rep. Maxine Waters said her signature phrase — “reclaiming my time” — before Sullivan hit the stage for a sultry, top-notch performance featuring fellow R&B singer Ari Lennox. The first award of the night went to Andra Day, who won best actress, while Darnella Frazier — the teenager who pulled out her cellphone and began recording when she saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a police officer — was given the Shine a Light Award.

Frazier didn’t attend the awards show but the honor came weeks after she was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prizes for her video that helped to launch a global movement to protest racial injustice.

H.E.R., who also wowed the audience with her performance, won best female R&B/pop artist. The Grammy winner told the crowd that it is “important for us to recognize each other and celebrate each other.”

“If we don’t, who else will?” she added.

Rapper Lil Baby won best male hip-hop artist and joined forces with gospel artist Kirk Franklin to kick off the show with a performance that got Issa Rae, Queen Latifah, DJ Khaled and Zendaya bouncing in their seats.

Swizz Beatz curated the tribute to DMX, who died in April at age 50. Performers included Busta Rhymes, Method Man and Griselda.

Other winners Sunday included Burna Boy, who won best international act; Giveon, named best new artist; and Silk Sonic — the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — who were named best group.

Full list of 2021 BET Award winners:

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

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.

Best new artist: Roddy Ricch

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

Beyoncé used her platform Sunday while accepting the BET humanitarian award to relay a direct appeal to viewers: Go vote.

“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.

“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.

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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