Monday 26 September 2016

WATCH: Sparks fly as Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar kill 'Freedom' at BET Awards

Independent.ie Newsdesk & Agencies

Published 27/06/2016 | 09:05

Beyonce performs
Beyonce performs "Freedom" with Dave Free at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Beyonce performs Freedom at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Presenter Taraji P. Henson tells men how to behave when on a date to a Beyonce concert as she presents the award for best group at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Sunday night's BET Awards were blown apart with a killer performance by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar.

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They gave an intense, thoroughly choreographed performance of the anthemic track from Beyoncé’s hit album Lemonade.

The spectacle was complete with flying sparks and smoke and a stage that looked like it was made of molten lava.

The 34-year-old singer claimed the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award, as well as the prestigious gong for Video of the Year for Formation.

Beyonce performs Freedom at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Beyonce performs Freedom at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Her hit also earned her the Centric Award, while Beyonce completed her haul by taking home the Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice award during the event at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater.

Her mother took to the stage to pick up the Video of the Year award on behalf of Beyonce, who had already jetted back tot he U.K. to continue with her Formation tour as soon as she finished her performance.

Drake also enjoyed a successful evening at the awards ceremony, winning three awards. As well as being named Best Male Hip Hop Artist, the 29-year-old took home Best Group alongside Future and Best Collaboration for Work, his track with Rihanna.

The other major music categories saw Nicki Minaj honoured with the Best Female Hip Hop Artist award and Bryson Tiller named Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.

Screen stars recognised at the annual awards ceremony included Empire star Taraji P. Henson, who was named Best Actress, and Creed heartthrob Michael B. Jordan, who got the Best Actor gong.

Straight Outta Compton was named Best Movie, while Samuel L. Jackson received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams was presented with the Humanitarian Award for his activism and philanthropic efforts, and stunned the star-studded audience with his impassioned speech.

Presenter Taraji P. Henson tells men how to behave when on a date to a Beyonce concert as she presents the award for best group at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Presenter Taraji P. Henson tells men how to behave when on a date to a Beyonce concert as she presents the award for best group at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

"This award is not for me," he said. “This is for the real organisers all over the country, the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realising that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. It’s kinda basic mathematics: the more we learn about who we are and how we got here the more we will mobilise.

"This award is also for the black women in particular who have spent their lives nurturing everyone before themselves - we can and will do better for you. Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours."

Jesse continued to comment on the frequent shooting crimes in the U.S., which have led to the deaths of Tamir Rice in 2014 when he was just 12 years old, among others. He earned a standing ovation for his words, with Jackson later commenting he hadn't heard a speech like Jesse's since the 1960's.

The full list of winners at the BET Awards 2016 is as follows:

Best Male Hip Hop Artist - Drake
Best Female Hip Hop Artist - Nicki Minaj
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist - Beyonce
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist - Bryson Tiller
Best Group - Drake & Future
Best New Artist - Bryson Tiller
Best Collaboration - Rihanna feat. Drake, Work
Video of the Year - Beyonce, Formation
Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award - Kirk Franklin
YoungStars Award - Amandla Stenberg
Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice - Beyonce
Centric Award - Beyonce, Formation
Video Director of the Year - Director X
Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan
Best Actress - Taraji P. Henson
Best Movie - Straight Outta Compton
Sportswoman of the Year - Serena Williams
Sportsman of the Year - Stephen Curry
Humanitarian Award - Jesse Williams
Lifetime Achievement - Samuel L. Jackson
Best International Act, U.K. - Skepta
Best International Act, Africa - Wizkid (Nigeria)

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