BET Awards 2022: The Complete Winners List

This week’s repeal of Roe v. Wade loomed heavy over Sunday evening’s 2002 BET Awards, with numerous artists using the event to share their emotions and thoughts on the continued attacks against abortion rights in the United States.

“Guns have more rights than a woman,” said host Taraji P. Henson said in her opening monologue. 

“It’s a sad day in America. A weapon that can take lives has more power than woman who can give life, if she chooses to.”

R&B singer and Grammy Award-winner Jazmin Sullivan also shared her thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision with the crowd. “As always, I do this for the women, for my sisters especially.

It’s a hard time right now for us, and I want to speak directly to the men. We need y’all. We need y’all to stand up — stand up for us, stand up with us,” Sullivan said while accepting the award for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.

“If you’ve ever benefited from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us,” Sullivan said.

“This is not just a woman’s issue. This is everybody’s issue, and we need your support more than ever.” Just before presenting Sullivan with the award, singer Janelle Monae raised a middle finger and proclaimed, “Fuck you, Supreme Court.”

The event — which featured performances from artists including Latto, Doechii, Jack Harlow and Chlöe — also honored Sean “Diddy” Combs with a Lifetime Achievement Award, accompanied by a star-studded tribute performance from Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Nas, Lil’ Kim, Busta Rhymes, The Lox, Bryson Tiller, Faith Evans and The Maverick City Choir.

Kanye West was on hand to present Combs with the award in a surprise appearance. “I go to him for advice to this day. He inspires so many of my choices, so many of my life choices,” West said. “This man has been through and survived a lot of stuff and broke down a lot of doors so we can be standing.”

The lead up to this year’s ceremony wasn’t without controversy. Earlier this month, rapper Lil Nas X slammed BET for snubbing his chart-topping debut album MONTERO, accusing the network of perpetuating homophobia in the Black community in a since-deleted tweet.

(The “Old Town Road” singer responded to his lack of nominations on latest single, “Late to Da Party,” which opens with a chant-like refrain saying, “Fuck BET.”) “My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think,” Lil Nas X told Rolling Stone in a statement.