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Beyoncé urged black communities to vote in the upcoming US elections, as she accepted an honour for her humanitarian work at the BET Awards.

Dedicating her award to protesters around the country, the star said: “You’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”

“I’m encouraging you to continue to take action, continue to change and dismantle a racist and unequal system.

“We have to vote like our life depends on it, because it does.”

Beyoncé was presented with her award by Michelle Obama, who praised the star’s commitment to the black community.

“You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to black joy and black pain, to her activism that demands justice for black lives.

“And she’s doing it all while staying devoted to her children and the loved ones she holds dear,” she continued. “To my girl, I just want to say – you inspire me. You inspire all of us.”

The BET Awards celebrate black artists and sports personalities. Previous recipients of the ceremony’s humanitarian award include boxer Muhammad Ali, music producer Quincy Jones and civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton.

The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, were reflected throughout this year’s ceremony.

DaBaby, who won best male hip-hop artist, re-enacted the last moments of Mr Floyd’s life, rapping his hit Rockstar with his face pressed against the ground as a police officer knelt on his neck.

The performance also featured images from protests, as dancers held signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund The Police”, as the rapper and Roddy Ricch danced on top of police cars.

Twelve-year-old Keedron Bryant, who went viral on social media with a song about his fears of being a young African-American, opened the show with an a cappella performance of the poignant track, I Wanna Live.

That was followed by an all-star performance of Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem Fight the Power, featuring Nas, YG, The Roots’ Black Thought, and Rapsody.

Jennifer Hudson delivered a gospel rendition of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted and Black, while Alicia Keys performed a haunting version of her new single A Perfect Way To Die.

The star was seen playing the piano in a deserted city, surrounded by murals to Floyd, Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Sandra Bland.

As the song ended, she stood up from her piano and knelt on the street, which had been stencilled with names of dozens of black men and women whose lives have been lost to racism and police brutality.

This year’s BET Awards were a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the performances and speeches were pre-taped, allowing for dramatic stagings and high production values.

Wayne Brady paid tribute to rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, with an energetic medley of Lucille, Good Golly Miss Molly and Tutti Frutti.

Afterward, Lil Wayne paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year.

Award recipients included Lizzo, who was named best female R&B/pop artist, beating Beyoncé, who has won the category 10 times, including the last six years in a row.

Megan Thee Stallion won best female hip-hop artist, after facing down a challenge from two former winners, Cardi B and seven-time champion Nicki Minaj.

Chris Brown won best male R&B/pop artist for a record fifth time, while Michael B. Jordan picked up his third best actor trophy – tying him with Denzel Washington for the most wins in the category.

Beyoncé’s eight-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter was also a winner, picking up an award for her contribution to the song Brown Skin Girl, from her mother’s Lion King album.

And gymnast Simone Biles – who recently debuted a never-before-seen triple-twist, double back dismount from a balance beam – won sportswoman of the year for the first time.

She beat tennis legend Serena Williams, who had won 12 times in the category, including the last six years in a row.

Full list of winners – BET Awards 2020

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST

  • Beyonce
  • H.E.R.
  • Jhene Aiko
  • Kehlani
  • Lizzo – Winner
  • Summer Walker

BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST

  • Anderson Paak
  • Chris Brown – Winner
  • Jacquees
  • Khalid
  • The Weeknd
  • Usher

BEST GROUP

  • Chloe X Halle
  • City Girls
  • Earthgang
  • Griselda
  • Jackboys
  • Migos – Winner

BEST COLLABORATION

  • Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance – Winner
  • DJ Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend: Higher
  • Future Ft. Drake: Life Is Good
  • H.E.R. Ft. YG: Slide
  • Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign: Hot Girl Summer
  • Wale Ft. Jeremih: On Chill

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST

  • DaBaby – Winner
  • Drake
  • Future
  • Lil Baby
  • Roddy Ricch
  • Travis Scott

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

  • Cardi B
  • Doja Cat
  • Lizzo
  • Megan Thee Stallion – Winner
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Saweetie

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance
  • DaBaby: Bop
  • DJ Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend: Higher – Winner
  • Doja Cat: Say So
  • Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign: Hot Girl Summer
  • Roddy Ricch: The Box

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

  • Benny Boom
  • Cole Bennett
  • Dave Meyers
  • Director X
  • Eif Rivera
  • Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor – Winner

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Danileigh
  • Lil Nas X
  • Pop Smoke
  • Roddy Ricch- Winner
  • Summer Walker
  • YBN Cordae

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • Cuz I Love You: Lizzo
  • Fever: Megan Thee Stallion
  • Homecoming: The Live Album: Beyonce
  • I Used to Know Her: H.E.R.
  • KirK: DaBaby
  • Please Excuse Me For Being AntisociaL: Roddy Ricch – Winner

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD

  • Fred Hammond: Alright
  • John P. Kee Ft. Zacardi Cortez: I Made It Out
  • Kanye West: Follow God
  • Kirk Franklin: Just For Me – Winner
  • Pj Morton Ft. Le’Andria Johnson & Mary Mary: All In His Plan
  • The Clark Sisters: Victory

BEST ACTRESS

  • Angela Bassett
  • Cynthia Erivo
  • Issa Rae – Winner
  • Regina King
  • Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Zendaya

BEST ACTOR

  • Billy Porter
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Michael B. Jordan – Winner
  • Omari Hardwick

YOUNGSTARS AWARD

  • Alex Hibbert
  • Asanta Blackk
  • Jahi Di’Allo Winston
  • Marsai Martin – Winner
  • Miles Brown
  • Storm Reid

BEST MOVIE

  • Bad Boys For Life
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Harriet
  • Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce
  • Just Mercy
  • Queen & Slim – Winner

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

  • Ajee Wilson
  • Claressa Shields
  • Coco Gauff
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Serena Williams
  • Simone Biles – Winner

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LeBron James – Winner
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Patrick Mahomes II
  • Stephen Curry

BET HER AWARD

  • Alicia Keys: Underdog
  • Beyonce Ft. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & Saint Jhn: Brown Skin Girl – Winner
  • Ciara Ft. Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La: Melanin
  • Layton Greene: I Choose
  • Lizzo Ft. Missy Elliott: Tempo
  • Rapsody Ft. PJ Morton: Afeni

VIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD

  • Chris Brown Ft. Drake: No Guidance
  • DaBaby: Bop
  • Future Ft. Drake: Life Is Good
  • Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj: Hot Girl Summer – Winner
  • Roddy Ricch: The Box
  • The Weeknd: Heartless

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

  • Burna Boy (Nigeria) – Winner
  • Innoss’B (DRC)
  • Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
  • Dave (UK)
  • Stormzy (UK)
  • Ninho (France)
  • S.Pri Noir (France)

VIEWER’S CHOICE: BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ACT

  • Rema (Nigeria)
  • Sha Sha (Zimbabwe) – Winner
  • Celeste (UK)
  • Young T & Bugsey (UK)
  • Hatik (France)
  • Sracy (France)

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