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The BET Awards return on Sunday with Doja Cat as the lead nominee

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Jazmine Sullivan were some of the big stars who used the BET Awards stage to strongly criticize the Supreme Court’s recent decision to remove the constitutional protection of women from abortion.

Henson took to the stage as host of the show on Sunday with an uplifting message about “black excellence” before launching the court overturn of the historic Roe v. Wade last week. The actor took the stage after Lizzo opened the show with a flute solo in a glittering gold dress performing his single “About Damn Time”.

“It was damn time we talked about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman. It’s a sad day in America, “said Henson, thanking Lizzo who along with Live Nation recently donated $ 1 million in tour proceeds to Planned Parenthood.” A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman can give. life, if you wish. “

Janelle Monae raised her middle finger to the Supreme Court before filing nominations for best female R & B / pop artist. Her speech won permanent applause at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“These artists are making art on our terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and without apology in a world that seeks to control and control our bodies, my body and our decisions, my body,” he said. the singer, who also paid tribute to the LGBTQ + community. “(Explicit) you Supreme Court. I know we’re celebrating right now like we should. We absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially now we should celebrate our art by protecting our rights and our truths. “

Subsequently, Monae introduced Sullivan as the winner of the category, who appealed to men for their support of women.

“It’s a tough time for us,” Sullivan said. “I want to speak directly to men: we need all of you. We need all of you to stand up, defend us, stand up with us. If you’ve ever benefited from a woman who made one of the most difficult decisions in her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you must be on your feet. It is not just a female issue. This is everyone’s problem. We need your support more than ever. “

Latto gave an emotional speech after winning the Best New Artist award.

“He’s giving a favorable choice,” said the rapper, who later performed his smash hit “Big Energy” with Mariah Carey. “He is never a man who controls my body.”

Singer Tems dedicated her award for best international actor to the many women who “dare to dream”.

“Where I’m from, things like that don’t happen,” said the Lagos-born Nigerian singer who won best collaboration with Justin Bieber and Wizkid for their song “Essence”. “This is a dream. If you are looking at me, I want you to imagine yourself as me, because you should be here too.

Doja Cat entered the show as the main nominated with six. The chart-topping artist is vying for best female R & B-pop artist, best female hip-hop artist, album of the year for her number 1 hit “Planet Her” and her BET Her for “Woman”. Her “Kiss Me More” with SZA is nominated for the video of the year and her best collaboration.

Sean “Diddy” Combs will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors at the ceremony. The music mogul is the founder of Bad Boy Records, has his own television network, his own fashion line and is a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious BIG, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.

Drake and Ari Lennox were the second most named, getting four nods each. Three nominations went to many others including Baby Keem, Silk Sonic, Chloe Bailey, Future, HER, Jazmine Sullivan, Ye (formerly Kanye West), Kendrick Lamar, Lil Baby, Mary J. Blige and Tems.

Jack Harlow performed “Poison” alongside Lil Wayne before Brandy took the stage with him for her hit “First Class”. As Harlow and Brandy performed, the camera turned to his brother, Ray J, who was seen dancing in the audience.

Chance the Rapper and Joey Bada $$ performed “The Highs & the Lows”. In her pink dress, Muni Long opened her set with a snippet of “Time Machine” before her “Hrs & Hrs” jam.

The winners of the 19 categories, including film and sports awards, are selected by BET’s Voting Academy, which is made up of entertainment professionals and fans.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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