BLACK VOICES

14 Truly Unforgettable Moments From The 2016 BET Awards

From Jesse Williams' rousing speech to the spectacular Prince tribute, BET didn't disappoint.

The 16th Annual BET Awards aired on Sunday and it was lit for so many reasons.

The night was filled with special moments that reminded us how hilarious, magical and talented black artists are. Between the dope performances, reminders to stay woke and the ultimate ode to Prince, the event was one to remember. In case you didn't see the show or just want to relive it, here are 14 moments that made the 2016 BET Awards truly unforgettable:

  • Celebrities highlighted why voting is crucial.
    Samuel L. Jackson, Debra Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Taraji P. Henson, among other celebs made important political statements&nbs
    Samuel L. Jackson, Debra Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Taraji P. Henson, among other celebs made important political statements throughout the night by reminding the audience that our vote is our voice and the only way we can make a difference is if we use it.
  • Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar shut down the show before it barely began.
    Queen Bey and K. Dot set the tone for the show as they <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/beyonce-kendrick-lamar-open-be
    Queen Bey and K. Dot set the tone for the show as they performed "Freedom" in what might as well have been a pool of holy water.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson reenacted "Hamilton" like you've never seen before.
    Hosts&nbsp;Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson literally made us all LOL when they fused&nbsp;Desiigner's "Panda" and&nbsp
    Hosts Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson literally made us all LOL when they fused Desiigner's "Panda" and O.T. Genasis' "Cut It" into their own quirky but hilarious "Hamilton" remake for their opening act.
  • Jesse Williams' gave the speech America desperately needed to hear.
    Actor and activist Jesse&nbsp;Williams <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jesse-williams-bet-awards-humanitarian-award_n
    Actor and activist Jesse Williams received the Humanitarian Award and he delivered a searing speech that made us all raise our fists in solidarity. Stay woke, Jesse. 
  • Jennifer Hudson brought the house down with her vocals.
    J. Hud was decked out in the perfect outfit as she&nbsp;gave a chill-inducing tribute&nbsp;that Prince would be proud of.&nbs
    J. Hud was decked out in the perfect outfit as she gave a chill-inducing tribute that Prince would be proud of. 
  • When Taraji P. Henson said she, too, has hot sauce in her bag.
    Taraji gave a rundown of how fellas should conduct themselves at a Beyonc&eacute; concert when they're with their&nbsp; girlf
    Taraji gave a rundown of how fellas should conduct themselves at a Beyoncé concert when they're with their  girlfriend. (Hint to the guys: When Bey says "boy bye," take a walk.)
  • Bilal gave his heart and soul to his Prince tribute.
    Bilal, who made&nbsp;a tribute to Prince alongside&nbsp;Erykah Badu and The Roots, put his all into his performance of Prince
    Bilal, who made a tribute to Prince alongside Erykah Badu and The Roots, put his all into his performance of Prince's, "The Beautiful Ones."
  • Laila Ali showed the utmost strength while honoring her late father.
    Laila Ali graced the stage during&nbsp;Muhammad Ali's tribute and reminded us why her father was and will always be "The Grea
    Laila Ali graced the stage during Muhammad Ali's tribute and reminded us why her father was and will always be "The Greatest."
  • Maxwell delivered a soul-stirring performance of "Nothing Compares To U."
    Maxwell didn't disappoint when he sang the 2013 Prince classic, "Nothing Compares 2 U." He even changed the words up a bit to honor the music icon: “It’s been 7 hours and 66 days since you took your music away.”
  • Tina Lawson was the epitome of class and grace.
    Since Beyonc&eacute; had to perform and dip, Mama Tina <a href="http://deadline.com/2016/06/beyonce-drake-michael-b-jordan-be
    Since Beyoncé had to perform and dip, Mama Tina accepted awards on her behalf. During one of her speeches, she talked about how significant it is to cherish and celebrate all entertainers around the world and "give [artists] their flowers" while they're still around to smell them.
  • Chloe x Halle made their BET Awards debut.
    These sisters, who are signed to Parkwood Entertainment, showed the world just how dope they are with their amazing performance of their latest single, "Drop."
  • Janelle Monae delivered a passionate performance in honor of Prince.
    Donning ass-less chaps (because it's a Prince tribute, duh!), Janelle Monae&nbsp;delivered an energetic melody of&nbsp;&ldquo
    Donning ass-less chaps (because it's a Prince tribute, duh!), Janelle Monae delivered an energetic melody of “Delirious,” “ Kiss,” “Pop Life,” and “I Would Die 4 U.” Her performance was everything.
  • Samuel L. Jackson received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
    The iconic actor sprinkled in some humor as he&nbsp;gave an <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/samuel-l-jackson-lifetime
    The iconic actor sprinkled in some humor as he gave an inspirational speech on his rise to the top and thanked those who have helped him along the way.
  • Sheila E. brought home the Prince tribute in an epic way.
    Prince's long time friend and drummer Sheila E. gave a performance to remember as she sang&nbsp;her rendition of &ldquo;House
    Prince's long time friend and drummer Sheila E. gave a performance to remember as she sang her rendition of “Housequake” and “Erotic City,"
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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
2016 BET Awards Red Carpet
CONVERSATIONS