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2021 BET Awards: Queen Latifah receives lifetime achievement gong

Queen Latifah was celebrated for her impressive career on Sunday night when she was awarded the lifetime achievement prize at the 2021 BET Awards

The Bringing Down The House star, 51, took to the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to thank her loved ones, her team and her fans. 

Accompanied by her father Lancelot Owens Sr. and a photograph of her late mother Rita Owens, Queen Latifah said she was ‘extremely moved’ to have been awarded the accolade.   

Star: Queen Latifah was celebrated for her impressive career on Sunday night when she was awarded the lifetime achievement prize at the 2021 BET Awards

Queen Latifah looked flawless as she took to the stage to accept her award in a black lace top, a white maxi skirt with a pink chiffon waist ribbon and a ochre shawl

The actress touchingly said: ‘I’m so extremely moved, I don’t even know what to say. Let me just say that I want to thank God, because God designed this whole thing to be this way.’ 

‘There is no way that I could have had the parents that I was born to, my father, my mother, who instilled so much in me.

‘My family, I love you. My siblings, my best friends who ride or die with me. Whether my face is on the dirt or flying in the sky, they know me and they are there for me…

‘I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine.

Extremely moved: The Bringing Down The House star, 51, took to the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to thank her loved ones, her team and her fans

Extremely moved: The Bringing Down The House star, 51, took to the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to thank her loved ones, her team and her fans

She continued: ‘When we couldn’t get played on the radio and other places, we couldn’t get our videos played in other places, there was BET, that allowed us to be in our fullness and to shine to this night right now, right here.

‘Bless everybody that graced the stage tonight and everyone in the audience for all your support… Be Black. Black is beautiful,’ the star concluded. 

Ahead of the touching speech, female rappers Rapsody, Monie Love, Lil Kim, and MC Lyte paid tribute to the actress with a mash up of Ladies First and Unity. 

Noting the performance, Queen Latifah gushed: ‘Thank you so much, everyone. Thank you, my sisters – y’all my sisters in the name of rap.’ 

Touching: Queen Latifah thanked her later mother Rita Owens in the speech and said that she had 'instilled so much' in her

 Touching: Queen Latifah thanked her later mother Rita Owens in the speech and said that she had ‘instilled so much’ in her 

Queen Latifah has enjoyed an incredible career, starring in films including Hairspray, Chicago,  Set It Off, Miracles From Heaven and The Secret Life of Bees. 

She has also released seven studio albums and twenty-three singles.  

The theme of the 2021 Bet Awards – which was held with a live audience there for the first time since the pandemic began – was ‘Year of the Black Woman’.

Taraji P. Henson said at the start of the night: “Celebrating Black women isn’t a fad or a trend it’s a forever mood.

“There is more than enough room for all of us to thrive, because can’t nobody be like me and can’t nobody be you like you.”

Sharp: The star was accompanied for the evening by her father Lancelot Owens Sr. who cut a dapper figure in a black suit and petrol blue tie

Sharp: The star was accompanied for the evening by her father Lancelot Owens Sr. who cut a dapper figure in a black suit and petrol blue tie 

'I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine,' Queen Latifah said in the powerful acceptance speech

‘I want to thank BET for creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine,’ Queen Latifah said in the powerful acceptance speech

Elsewhere in the ceremony, Megan Thee Stallion won best female hip hop artist, best collaboration and video of the year for ‘WAP’ with Cardi B, and the viewer’s choice prize for ‘Savage (Remix)’ with Beyonce. 

Meanwhile, Andra Day won best actress, for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.  

Chadwick Boseman won best actor, while Lil Baby scooped best male hip hop artist and SZA’s Good Days scored the BET Her Award. 

Stunning: Queen Latifah looked flawless as she took to the stage to accept her award in a black lace top, a white maxi skirt with a pink chiffon waist ribbon and a ochre shawl

Stunning: Queen Latifah looked flawless as she took to the stage to accept her award in a black lace top, a white maxi skirt with a pink chiffon waist ribbon and a ochre shawl 

The BET Awards honor Black excellence across music, television, film, and sports in 21 categories, and rook place in person this year after being held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, said in a statement: ‘We are back and excited to bring culture’s biggest night, the 2021 BET Awards, safely back to Los Angeles to celebrate this year’s incredible roster of nominees.

‘We broke ground as one of the first official award shows to move forward during the global pandemic and we are ready to take our pioneer status to the next level with the return of an audience to celebrate the best and brightest creative minds in the entertainment industry.’

2021 BET Awards Winners

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

AFTER HOURS – THE WEEKND

BLAME IT ON BABY – DABABY

GOOD NEWS – MEGAN THEE STALLION

HEAUX TALES – JAZMINE SULLIVAN – WINNER

KING’S DISEASE – NAS

UNGODLY HOUR – CHLOE X HALLE

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION - WAP - WINNER

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP – WINNER

BEST COLLABORATION

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP – WINNER

DABABY FT. RODDY RICCH – ROCKSTAR

DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE – POPSTAR

JACK HARLOW FT. DABABY, TORY LANEZ & LIL WAYNE – WHATS POPPIN (REMIX)

MEGAN THEE STALLION FT. DABABY – CRY BABY

POP SMOKE FT. LIL BABY & DABABY – FOR THE NIGHT

BEST FEMALE R&B / POP ARTIST

BEYONCÉ

H.E.R. – WINNER

JAZMINE SULLIVAN

JHENÉ AIKO

SUMMER WALKER

SZA

BEST MALE R&B / POP ARTIST

6LACK

ANDERSON .PAAK

CHRIS BROWN – WINNER

GIVEON

TANK

THE WEEKND

GIVEON - WINNER

GIVEON – WINNER

BEST NEW ARTIST

COI LERAY

FLO MILLI

GIVEON – WINNER

JACK HARLOW

LATTO

POOH SHIESTY 

BEST GROUP

21 SAVAGE & METRO BOOMIN

CHLOE X HALLE

CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG

CITY GIRLS

MIGOS

SILK SONIC – WINNER

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

CARDI B

COI LERAY

DOJA CAT

MEGAN THEE STALLION – WINNER

LATTO

SAWEETIE

LIL BABY - WINNER

LIL BABY – WINNER

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST

DABABY

DRAKE

J. COLE

JACK HARLOW

LIL BABY – WINNER

POP SMOKE 

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD

BEBE WINANS – IN JESUS NAME

CECE WINANS – NEVER LOST

H.E.R. – HOLD US TOGETHER

KIRK FRANKLIN – STRONG GOD – WINNER

MARVIN SAPP – THANK YOU FOR IT ALL

TAMELA MANN – TOUCH FROM YOU

BET HER AWARD

ALICIA KEYS FT. KHALID – SO DONE

BRANDY FT. CHANCE THE RAPPER – BABY MAMA

BRI STEVES – ANTI QUEEN

CHLOE X HALLE – BABY GIRL

CIARA FT. ESTER DEAN – ROOTED

SZA – GOOD DAYS – WINNER

BURNA BOY (NIGERIA) - WINNER

BURNA BOY (NIGERIA) – WINNER

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

AYA NAKAMURA (FRANCE)

BURNA BOY (NIGERIA) – WINNER

DIAMOND PLATNUMZ (TANZANIA)

EMICIDA (BRAZIL)

HEADIE ONE (UK)

WIZKID (NIGERIA)

YOUNG T & BUGSEY (UK)

YOUSSOUPHA (FRANCE) 

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. BEYONCÉ – SAVAGE (REMIX) – WINNER

SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION - WAP - WINNER

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP – WINNER

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

CARDI B – UP

CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP – WINNER

CHLOE X HALLE – DO IT

CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG – GO CRAZY

DRAKE FT. LIL DURK – LAUGH NOW CRY LATER

SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

 

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

BENNY BOOM

BRUNO MARS AND FLORENT DÉCHARD – WINNER

COLE BENNETT

COLIN TILLEY

DAVE MEYERS

HYPE WILLIAMS

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH - WINNER

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – WINNER

BEST MOVIE

COMING 2 AMERICA

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – WINNER

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

SOUL

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

BEST ACTRESS

ANDRA DAY – WINNER

ANGELA BASSETT

ISSA RAE

JURNEE SMOLLETT

VIOLA DAVIS

ZENDAYA

BEST ACTOR

ALDIS HODGE

CHADWICK BOSEMAN – WINNER

DAMSON IDRIS

DANIEL KALUUYA

EDDIE MURPHY

LAKEITH STANFIELD

YOUNGSTARS AWARD

ALEX R. HIBBERT

ETHAN HUTCHISON

LONNIE CHAVIS

MARSAI MARTIN – WINNER

MICHAEL EPPS

STORM REID

NAOMI OSAKA - WINNER

NAOMI OSAKA – WINNER

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

A’JA WILSON

CANDACE PARKER

CLARESSA SHIELDS

NAOMI OSAKA – WINNER

SERENA WILLIAMS

SKYLAR DIGGINS-SMITH

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

KYRIE IRVING

LEBRON JAMES  – WINNER

PATRICK MAHOMES

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

RUSSELL WILSON

STEPHEN CURRY

 


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