Beyoncé Wins Big, Remy Ma Ends Nicki Minaj’s Reign at 2017 BET Awards

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Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images
Remy Ma at Genius Event Space on April 26, 2017 in New York City.


This time last year, the BET Awards left viewers with indelible moments that included Beyoncé’s epic performance of “Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar (and four tons of water), actor Jesse Williams’ impassioned speech about social activism and multiple star-studded Prince tributes featuring The Roots, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Sheila E and more.

While it can be a difficult proposition to top yourself, this year’s BET Awards came close — thanks to a series of riveting performances, stirring tributes, a couple of welcome trips down memory lane and rapper Remy Ma ending Nicki Minaj’s seven-year win streak. And at the end of the four-hour marathon inside Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater — marking comedian Leslie Jones’ debut as host — an absent Beyoncé emerged as the night’s big winner.


The new mom of twins claimed five statuettes — including album of the year (Lemonade) and best R&B/pop female artist — out of her leading seven nominations. Bruno Mars, coming in with five nominations, took home his first two BET Awards for best male R&B/pop artist and best video (for “24K Magic” tied with Beyoncé’s “Sorry”). Also joining Mars and Beyoncé in the winner’s circle were Kendrick Lamar (best male hip-hop artist), and three more first-time winners: Solange (Centric Award for “Cranes in the Sky”), Chance the Rapper (best new artist and best collaboration for “No Problem” featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) and Migos (best group and also best collaboration for “Bad and Boujee” featuringLil Uzi Vert).

Noting that he received his first Soul Train Award on BET for his featured role on B.o.B.’s hit “Nothing on You,” an eloquent Mars thanked BET for showing me “nothing but support and love.” He also gave a special shout-out to former BET president of programming Stephen Hill, who exited the company in March. “No matter where you go, you’ll find success,” said Mars of Hill, who was spotted in the audience. “You have too much soul, too much passion.”

Mars himself displayed plenty of both emotions during rousing opener “Perm,” a track from his album 24K Magic. Part James Brown and part church revival rolled into one — coupled with the singer’s signature fancy footwork — the performance had the whole house on its feet. It also set the bar for the rest of the evening. Keeping the audience out of its seats with their own standout performances were French Montana and Swae Lee (“Unforgettable”), Chris Brown and Gucci Mane (“Party”), Migos (“T-Shirt,” “Bad and Boujee”), Mary J. Blige (“Set Me Free,” “Love Yourself” with A$AP Rocky) and Future joined by Lamar on “Mask Off.” Perhaps one of the evening’s biggest surprises was Tamar Braxton’s powerful, throw-the-mic-stand-down performance of her latest single “My Man.” By the end, the singer had the audience erupting in a cheer-filled ovation.

See complete list of winners below:

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
WINNER: Beyoncé
Mary J. Blige

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
WINNER: Bruno Mars
Chris Brown
The Weeknd
Trey Songz

Best Group
2 Chainz & Lil Wayne
A Tribe Called Quest
Fat Joe & Remy Ma
Rae Sremmurd

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé Feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”
WINNER: Chance The Rapper Feat. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”
Chris Brown Feat. Gucci Mane & Usher – party
DJ Khaled Feat. Beyoncé & Jay Z – “Shining”
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad and Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd Feat. Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles”

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Big Sean
Chance The Rapper
J. Cole
WINNER: Kendrick Lamar

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Cardi B
Missy Elliott
Nicki Minaj
Young M.A

Video of the Year
WINNER: Beyoncé – “Sorry”
Big Sean – “Bounce Back”
Bruno Mars – “24k Magic”
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad and Boujee”
Solange – “Cranes in the Sky”

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom – Kehlani “Crzy”
Bruno Mars & Jonathan Lia – Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like”
Director X – Zayn Malik “Like I Would”
Hype Williams – Tyga “Gucci Snakes Feat. Desiigner”
WINNER: Kahlil Joseph & Beyoncé Knowles-Carter – Beyoncé “Sorry”

Best New Artist
21 Savage
Cardi B
WINNER: Chance the Rapper
Young M.A

Album of the Year
24k Magic – Bruno Mars
4 Your Eyez Only – J. Cole
A Seat at the Table – Solange
Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper
WINNER: Lemonade – Beyoncé

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
CeCe Winans – “Never Have to Be Alone”
Fantasia Feat. Tye Tribbett –”I Made It”
Kirk Franklin Feat. Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs & Tamela Mann – “My World Needs You”
WINNER: Lecrae – “Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)”
Tamela Mann – “God Provides”

Best Actress
Gabrielle Union
Issa Rae
Janelle Monáe
WINNER: Taraji P. Henson
Viola Davis

Best Actor
Bryshere Y. Gray
Denzel Washington
Donald Glover
WINNER: Mahershala Ali
Omari Hardwick

Youngstars Award
Ace Hunter
Caleb McLaughlin
Jaden Smith
Marsai Martin
WINNER: Yara Shahidi

Best Movie
Get Out
WINNER: Hidden Figures
The Birth of a Nation

Sportswoman of the Year Award
Gabby Douglas
WINNER: Serena Williams
Simone Biles
Skylar Diggins
Venus Williams

Sportsman of the Year Award
Cam Newton
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Russell Westbrook
WINNER: Stephen Curry

Centric Award
Fantasia – “Sleeping With the One I Love”
Kehlani – “Distraction”
Mary J. Blige – “Thick of It”
WINNER: Solange – “Cranes in the Sky”
Syd – “All About Me”
Yuna – “Crush” Feat. Usher

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
WINNER: Beyoncé – “Sorry”
Bruno Mars – “24k Magic”
Drake – “Fake Love”
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad and Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd Feat. Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles”
The Weeknd Feat. Daft Punk – Starboy

Best International Act: Europe
Booba (France)
Mhd (France)
Craig David (UK)
Emeli Sandé (UK)
Giggs (UK)
Skkepta (UK)
WINNER: Stormzy (UK)
Wiley (UK)

Best International Act: Africa
Aka (South Africa)
Babes Wodumo (South Africa)
Davido (Nigeria)
Nasty C (South Africa)
Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Tekno (Nigeria)
WINNER: Wizkid (Nigeria)
Mr Eazi (Nigeria)

Humanitarian Award
WINNER: Chance The Rapper

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