The 2019 BET Awards kicked off with a performance by Cardi B, who came into the night leading with 7 nominations and, not surprisingly, picked up the award for album of the year for her “Invasion of Privacy.”
Other top nominees included Drake with 5, and Beyonce, Travis Scott and J. Cole, each with four. Bruno Mars, 21 Savage, Childish Gambino, H.E.R. and Ella Mai also received multiple nominations. The show, which is in its 19th year, aired live from downtown Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.
The BET Awards recognize winners across 20 categories in a “celebration of black culture.” Connie Orlando serves as executive producer along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment. Picking up the first award from best new artist, Lil Baby told Variety, “It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t even believe it.”
His win was followed by one from the “youngest baller in the game”, 14-year-old “Black-ish” star and entrepreneur Marsai Martin, who picked up the Young Stars Award. The late Nipsey Hussle received a posthumous award for best male hip-hop artist. His mother took the stage for an emotional recounting of the day he was shot. You can watch the full Award show below.