The 2014 BET Awards once again touched down in Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre on June 29th. The annual event, hosted by funny man Chris Rock, brought out the best of entertainers across formats of music, film, TV and sports to celebrate the past year in black entertainment.
Certainly still buzzing from the reception it had received from the telecast, reports state that the event pulled in more viewers than the 2014 Golden Globes, Billboard Music Awards and the World Cup clash between Belgium and the USA.
Slightly unusual for the network to feature a long list of music performances, viewers were treated to blockbuster stage showings from hip hop’s girls of the moment – Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea.
Other artists that performed on the night included rap titans – T.I and Lil’ Wayne, Pharrell, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and a heartbroken Robin Thicke.
R&B newcomers August Alsina and Jhene Aiko, both whom have had a phenomenal year in music, managed to bag some spotlight through their performances.
The former was joined on stage by Trey Songz (who also performed his hit single ‘Na Na’) and Chris Brown, while the latter shared stage and a duet with John Legend.
The BET Awards is vast becoming the platform for Chris Brown to show fans his ‘born again’ persona. Back in 2010, his Michael Jackson tribute performance was impressive and emotional, as he cried tears that seemed to win over sympathetics: that same year, he also scored a hit urban single ‘Deuces.’
Fast forward to 2014, after his stint in rehab for anger management and then jail for violating his probation, he was once again offered the opportunity to perform his urban hit ‘Loyal’ possibly to shift the attention from his spent jail time and negative image to his music.
Although rumour has it that he offered BET a performance only if they employed his girlfriend as a host for the pre-show showcase. Many might consider the pre-recorded performance from music’s power couple, Jay-Z & Beyoncé as one of the hit performances of the night – sadly, it would not have been missed had it not been included.
The couple delivered a re-worked version of the singer’s single ‘Partition’ which they currently show on their joint stadium tour.
A consistent tradition of the awards show, is to pay homage to music of yester-year, and this time, it landed in the hands of 90s r&b bands, Troop and Silk respectively.
Legendary singer and Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Lionel Ritchie delivered a melody of his classic hits and received musical tributes from the aforementioned Legend and Soul Singer, Ledisi.
An average showing from Rock, coupled with many performances, this year’s event might have been a ratings winner, but it was far from the best show that BET has put on.