The stars were out in full force at the 2022 BET Awards, billed as "culture's biggest night."
Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson returned for a second time to host the 22nd annual awards show, which aired Sunday on BET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The night was filled with epic performances, memorable acceptance speeches and an exciting tribute to Sean "Diddy" Combs, who received the lifetime achievement award.
- 1June 27, 2022
- 3May 5, 2022
Read on for top moments from this year's BET Awards.
Women speak out about Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade
Women at the awards show used their platform to address the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade -- the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion a constitutionally protected federal right -- throughout the evening.
Henson called the ruling "a sad day in America" in her opening monologue, adding, "A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life, if she chooses to."
Singer-songwriter Janelle Monae, the evening's first presenter, gave a shoutout to Black women as well as Black queer and non-binary artists whom she said are "making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, and our decisions, my decisions."
"F--- you, Supreme Court," she added, holding up a middle finger.
In her acceptance speech for best female R&B/pop artist, singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan urged men to stand alongside women in the fight to protect abortion rights, saying it was "everybody's issue."
"We need y'all. We need y'all to stand up. Stand up for us, stand up with us," she said.
The big wins of the night
Silk Sonic, the R&B duo composed of singer Bruno Mars and rapper Anderson .Paak, took home the top award of the night, album of the year, for "An Evening with Silk Sonic."
Sullivan took home best female R&B/pop artist, while The Weeknd won best male R&B/pop artist.
Latto won best new artist and Mary J. Blige garnered the BET Her Award for her song "Good Morning Gorgeous."
Zendaya won the best actress award, and "Black-ish" and "Little" actress Marsai Martin won the YoungStar Award.
Artists shine in their onstage performances
The awards show kicked off with Lizzo, decked out in a gold disco-ball reminiscent two-piece set, singing her latest hit, "About Damn Time." The performance was complete with a flute solo from the singer-rapper-songwriter.
Next, Jack Harlow delighted fans by teaming up with Lil Wayne to perform "Poison" before bringing out Brandy for a performance of "First Class." Worship music group Maverick City Music and gospel singer/choir director Kirk Franklin then took the stage next for a moving performance of "Kingdom" and Franklin's hit "Melodies from Heaven" that brought the crowd to its feet.
GoGo Morrow performed her recently-released debut single "In The Way," and Nigerian artist Fireboy DML performed his hit song "Peru."
Rapper Doechii commanded the audience's attention with an enthusiastic performance of her hit "Persuasive."
Chance the Rapper was joined on stage Sunday night by Joey Bada$$ for a simple but inspiring performance of their collaboration "The Highs & the Lows."
Giving viewers the biggest treat of the night, Latto brought out Mariah Carey to join her on the remix of "Big Energy," which features an interpolation of Carey's song "Fantasy."
Closing out the awards show were Chlöe, who gave a steamy performance of "Surprise," and Giveon, who performed a trio of hits, including his newest single "Lie Again."
Other performances included Muni Long and Ella Mai with Babyface and Roddy Ricch.
Diddy honored with lifetime achievement award
Sean "Diddy" Combs received one of the biggest honors of the night -- the lifetime achievement award.
The award celebrates "industry giants who have not only significantly shaped culture through their extensive careers, but who have also been transformative leaders that consistently inspire generations by setting a true standard of excellence," according to BET. Previous recipients of the award include Blige, Queen Latifah, Prince, Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie, among many others.
Rapper Kanye "Ye" West made a surprise appearance at the show to present the award to Diddy. He praised Diddy for opening doors for other artists like himself, inspiring many of his life choices, sharing advice with him over the years and acting as a constant source of support for him and many others.
While accepting the award, Diddy gave thanks to God, his mother, his late ex-girlfriend Kim Porter and "every person" who has played a part in his life.
Diddy has cemented his status as a top-selling hitmaker and producer in the industry. He continues to act as a changemaker through his entrepreneurial endeavors across a wide range of industries.
He previously founded his own entertainment group, Bad Boy Entertainment, which helped launch the careers of some of hip hop's most legendary artists. He has founded successful fashion and liquor companies throughout his career as well as a multi-platform cable music network, REVOLT Media & TV.
One of his latest ventures is the launch of his new music label, Love Records.
Diddy was also honored Sunday night with a high-powered tribute performance that celebrated his career as an artist and producer. The artist was joined by stars including Blige, Jodeci, Lil' Kim, Busta Rhymes, Faith Evans and Bryson Tiller, to name a few.
Diddy also paid tribute to Porter, who died in 2018, in a moving performance.
Toward the end of the show Henson introduced an in memoriam segment to honor those who had died in the past year, beginning with a mention of Roe v. Wade.
Among those who received tribute were fashion journalist André Leon Talley, rapper Biz Markie, singer Traci Braxton, former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, "The Wire" actor Michael K. Williams, fashion designer Virgil Abloh, Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier and more.
As the segment came to a close, locations where mass shooting have taken place flashed across the screen, beginning with Uvalde, Texas. The sound of gunshots played in the background.
The tribute ended with a message which read: "In memory of all lives lost due to gun violence."