And it set a standard for virtual award shows to come.
"This is Black entertainment/this is Black power status," the rapper sang in a viral shoutout to the late NBA great.
The “Lemonade” artist was honored for her work with her nonprofit organization, BeyGOOD.
The ceremony took place virtually instead of at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where it was held last year.
Celebrities took some style gambles and won in Las Vegas.
"To travel back and to relive something again and not have it drive you crazy is a true gift from God,” the 2019 BET Lifetime Achievement honoree said.
From Offset's impressive choreo to Lizzo's flute/twerk combo, the BET Awards had it all.
"Own your own way," the filmmaker and showbiz mogul said in accepting the Ultimate Icon Award.
The rapper's family and peers paid tribute to him during the awards ceremony.
"We didn’t know how much we needed you," Rihanna told the Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B.