BET Awards, Music News, News

BET Awards 2021 Preview: What to Expect

The 2021 BET Awards will be held Sunday, June 27 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The Biggest Night in Black Culture will recognize standout musicians, actors, and athletes in 21 categories and run from 8pm ET (5pm PT) to 11:30pm ET on BET.

The BET Awards is one of the first awards shows to hold an in-person ceremony amid the pandemic. The theme for this year's ceremony is the "Year of the Black Woman," and it will celebrate the impact Black actresses and singers have had on culture.

Host & Presenters:

Actress Taraji P. Henson will be hosting the illustrious event. Henson is a Golden Globe-winning actor, filmmaker, and philanthropist.

This year's presenters include Ashanti, Chloe Bailey, Ciara, Crystal Renee Hayslett, DJ Cassidy, Ebony Obsidian, Eva Marcille, Issa Rae, Jill Scott, KJ Smith, Lena Waithe, Marsai Martin, Michelle Buteau, Michelle Mitchenor, Mignon, Mj Rodriguez, Naomi Campbell, Novi Brown, Regina Hall, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Saweetie, and Sevyn Streeter.

Jennifer Hudson will also be making a special appearance during the show.


After a long year of no live in-person performances, the 2021 BET Awards is kicking things up a notch with the longest lineup of performers in the show's history.

The all-star lineup will include Megan Thee Stallion, Andra Day, City Girls, DaBaby, DJ Khaled, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Migos, Moneybagg Yo!, Rapsody, and Roddy Ricch. Up-and-coming artist Tone Stith will also get a special performance on the BET Amplified Stage.

Special Awards and Tributes:

Queen Latifah will be honored with BET's Lifetime Achievement Award for her impact on hip hop and film. Latifah became the first hip hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. She received an Academy Award nomination for playing Matron “Mama” Morton in Chicago, and she is critically acclaimed for her roles in the films Bessie, Life Support, Hairspray, and Girls Trip.

Additionally, a special tribute will be given in honor of the late rapper DMX. The tribute will be curated by his producing partner Swizz Beatz, and will include performances from Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Swizz Beatz, Griselda, and Michael K. Williams.


Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby lead the pack with seven nominations each. Both of them are nominated for “Best Collaboration,” “Viewer’s Choice Award,” and “Album of the Year” for their hit albums Good News and Blame it on Baby.

Cardi B and Drake are tied for the second most nominations at 5 each. Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, Chloe X Halle, and Chris Brown each have 4 nominations. Check BET's website for the full list of nominees.

Here are the nominees for the show's top music categories:

Album of the Year
After Hours - The Weeknd
Blame it on Baby - DaBaby
Good News - Megan Thee Stallion
Heaux Tales - Jazmine Sullivan
King's Disease - Nas
Ungodly Hour - Chloe X Hale

Best Female R&B / Pop Artist
Jazmine Sullivan
Jhene Aiko
Summer Walker

Best Male R&B / Pop Artist
Anderson .Paak
Chris Brown
The Weeknd

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Cardi B
Coi Leray
Doja Cat
Megan Thee Stallion

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
J. Cole
Jack Harlow
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke

Viewer's Choice Award
Cardi B Ft. Megan Thee Stallion - "WAP"
Chris Brown & Young Thug - "Go Crazy"
DaBaby Ft. Roddy Ricch - "Rockstar"
DJ Khaled Ft. Drake - "Popstar"
Drake Ft. Lil Durk - "Laugh Now Cry Later"
Lil Baby - "The Bigger Picture"
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyonce - "Savage (Remix)"
Silk Sonic - "Leave the Door Open"

Pre-Show and After-Show:

Viewers can tune in to watch the pre-show, which will begin at 7pm ET (4pm PT) on BET.

An after-show will also be broadcast when the ceremony concludes. Viewers can expect to watch "DJ Cassidy's Pass the Mic: BET Awards Edition" around 11:30pm ET (8:30pm PT). Like in the viral series, Cassidy will DJ from his living room as iconic artists appear to sing their hit songs.

This after-show special edition of Pass the Mic will highlight the 2000s hip hop & R&B scene, with Ashanti, Ja Rule, Nelly, Fabolous, Sean Paul, Kelis, Akon, and Fat Joe set to appear along with other surprise guests.

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Article Image: Cardi B at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, Taraji P. Henson at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, Queen Latifah at the "Ice Age: Collision Course" Premiere in 2016. (Jean_Nelson, Jean_Nelson, everett225 via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey