2024 BET Awards recap: Usher wins lifetime achievement award, Killer Mike urges Black Americans to vote, plus Will Smith's 'comeback'

Lauryn Hill, YG Marley and Megan Thee Stallion also delivered standout performances.

Usher onstage.
Usher accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award onstage at the the 2024 BET Awards at Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday. (Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images)

The 2024 BET Awards on Sunday night was a celebration of Black excellence. Hosted by actress and author Taraji P. Henson, the evening welcomed standout performances from Megan Thee Stallion, Lauren Hill, Will Smith and more — with Usher taking home a lifetime achievement award.

Drake led with a whopping seven nominations, including album of the year for For All the Dogs, though he left with zero wins. Nicki Minaj earned six nods, including album of the year for Pink Friday 2, ultimately taking home only the award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. It was also a memorable night for Victoria Monét, who earned her first pair of BET awards for the “On My Mama” music video.

Killer Mike’s sixth studio album, Michael, earned the rapper an award for Album of the Year, while Beyoncé won the Viewer’s Choice award for her country single “Texas Hold ’Em.” Her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, 12, whom she shares with husband Jay-Z, took home the YoungStars Award.

From the night’s winners and standout performances, here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 BET Awards.

🎤 Taraji P. Henson channels Kendrick Lamar

Henson, the ceremony’s emcee, came out dressed as Lamar before launching into a parody of the rapper’s hit song “Not Like Us.”

The single was released by Lamar amid his feud with fellow rapper Drake, and while the original lyrics were pointed jabs at Drake, Henson’s were rewritten to celebrate Black culture, replacing “They not like us” with “This about us.”

🇺🇲 Artists mock Trump’s ‘Black jobs’ claim

Former President Donald Trump was referenced throughout the evening, beginning with Henson’s opening monologue, in which she called out comments he made during the presidential debate on June 27 about immigrants “taking Black jobs” away from Americans.

“[This is] a show packed full of all-stars with Black jobs,” she said. “Whatever that means. But clearly, we know there’s a difference. Thanks for the info, but we already knew it.”

During the debate, Trump criticized Biden’s immigration policies, stating, “They’re taking Black jobs now — and it could be 18, it could be 19 and even 20 million people. They’re taking Black jobs and they’re taking Hispanic jobs.”

Media personality B. Simone also referenced Trump’s comment when she asked the audience whether jobs like hairstylist, TSA agent or TV judge were considered “Black jobs,” which didn’t land for some viewers on social media.

🕶️ Usher’s Lifetime Achievement Award speech

Usher became introspective when speaking about his father while accepting a lifetime achievement award.

“I was trying to make sense of this name that a man gave me but didn't stick around because he didn't love me,” he said of his relationship with his father, according to USA Today. “Or at least that was my perception of it because I had to live long enough in order to understand that you have to have a forgiving heart in order to understand the true pitfalls and hardships of a Black man in America.”

“You’ve got to be willing to forgive, y’all,” the rapper added. “That’s what makes us human.”

📣 Killer Mike’s call to action

Rapper Killer Mike gave a passionate speech about the upcoming presidential election while accepting an award for Best Album.

“Technically, I was not supposed to be here,” he said, referencing an incident at the 2024 Grammy Awards in February in which he was arrested after a scuffle with a security guard. He will not face charges for the incident. “I was put in handcuffs, and I was marched out of this building. But I wanna tell you, look at God because I’m back, baby, I’m back.”

Mike then took an opportunity to encourage viewers to vote.

“They’re gonna tell you who we vote for is important and it is,” he said. “Who we vote for on the big stage is important, but it’s more important that you know who your city council person is, who your prosecutor is, and if you don’t like the people who are running, run your Black ass to the polls and run yourself.”

🎶 Standout performances: Will Smith’s ‘comeback’ and Lauryn Hill’s legacy

Megan Thee Stallion kicked off her performance by hatching from an egg — an ode to her latest album, Megan, which has an overarching snake motif — and singing a medley of cuts from the album.

Smith performed his new song “You Can Make It” alongside the Sunday Service Choir, Chandler Moore and Kirk Franklin. He later shared a clip of his performance on X with the message, “I have returned Home! The comeback is always bigger than the setback.”

Hill took the stage with her son YG Marley. The mother-son duo performed a heartfelt rendition of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” the title track to her iconic 1998 album.

🏆 Who were the winners?

  • WINNER: Killer Mike, Michael

  • Chris Brown, 11:11

  • Gunna, A Gift & a Curse

  • 21 Savage, American Dream

  • Usher, Coming Home

  • Drake, For All the Dogs (Scary Hours Edition)

  • Victoria Monet, Jaguar II

  • Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday 2


  • Beyoncé

  • Coco Jones

  • Doja Cat

  • H.E.R.

  • Muni Long

  • Tyla

  • Victoria Monét

  • WINNER: Usher

  • Brent Faiyaz

  • Bryson Tiller

  • Burna Boy

  • Chris Brown

  • Drake

  • Fridayy

  • October London

  • WINNER: Nicki Minaj

  • Cardi B

  • Doja Cat

  • GloRilla

  • Ice Spice

  • Latto

  • Megan Thee Stallion

  • Sexyy Red

  • WINNER: Kendrick Lamar

  • 21 Savage

  • Burna Boy

  • Drake

  • Future

  • Gunna

  • J. Cole

  • Lil Wayne

  • WINNER: Tyla

  • 41

  • 4Batz

  • Ayra Starr

  • Bossman Dlow

  • Fridayy

  • October London

  • Sexyy Red

  • WINNER: Victoria Monét, “On My Mama”

  • Doja Cat, “Agora Hills”

  • Lil Durk feat J. Cole, “All My Life”

  • Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (With Aqua), “Barbie World”

  • Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, “Bongos”

  • Drake feat. J. Cole, “First Person Shooter”

  • Usher, Summer Walker & 21 Savage, “Good Good”

  • Drake feat. Sexyy Red & SZA, “Rich Baby Daddy”

  • WINNER: Beyoncé, “Texas Hold ‘Em”

  • Doja Cat, “Agora Hills”

  • Lil Durk feat. J. Cole, “All My Life”

  • Gunna, “Fukumean”

  • Jack Harlow, “Lovin on Me”

  • Muni Long, “Made for Me”

  • Victoria Monét, “On My Mama”

  • Drake feat. Sexyy Red & SZA, “Rich Baby Daddy”

  • Chris Brown feat. Davido & Lojay, “Sensational”

  • Tyla, “Water”

  • WINNER: Blue Ivy Carter

  • Akira Akbar

  • Demi Singleton

  • Heiress Diana Harris

  • Jabria McCullum

  • Jalyn Hall

  • Leah Jeffries

  • Van Van

  • WINNER: Victoria Monét, “On My Mama”

  • Beyoncé, “16 Carriages”

  • Nicki Minaj feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard, “Blessings”

  • Ayra Starr, “Commas”

  • Flo feat. Missy Elliott, “Fly Girl”

  • Megan Thee Stallion, “Hiss”