If you asked someone randomly in the street about the BET channel a few weeks ago, there was a 50/50 chance of one not knowing anything about it. But after last night, even the most random tourist from overseas who walked passed Hollywood Blvd, would refer to it as the cable channel with more flavor than a plate of jambalaya! The ‘Black Star Power’ turning out to attend this much anticipated event that was broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre was incredible. Just having Muhammad Ali in the ‘hizouse’, you could stop right there as far as Star Power. Celebrities such as Will Smith, Janet Jackson, Chris Tucker and Snoop Dogg stunned the cameras. Basketball stars like Mike Bibby represented in his rival city with much love, and big time lawyers like Johnnie Cochran even got into the swing of things when he presented an award by announcing, ‘and the wizinner is”, much to the complete appreciation from the soulful crowd on hand.
There were too many stars to mention, but they all witnessed the live performances from Ja Rule featuring Charlie Baltimore, Ashanti, Bow Wow, B2K, Yolanda Adams and many others who entertained. Doing dedication medleys for Earth, Wind & Fire were performers Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert and Tweet, then in turn EWF sang to a constantly grooving and standing audience of stars, fans and staff. Hosted by the hilarious pair, Steve Harvey and Cedric “The Entertainer”, the awards saw rapper Nelly open the show performing his latest single “Hot in Herre”, but the action started way before this. In front of the venue on the red carpet, stage and gala set up outside, the blocked off Hollywood Blvd attracted thousands of fans and passing tourists who barricaded behind. With hyped up performances from blingers Big Tymers, live broadcasts of 106th & Park by hosts Free and AJ, it was inevitable that the most screams actually were heard when the fans simply glimpsed their favorite stars walking the red carpet to the flashing cameras!
Once inside, the excitement couldn’t be deadened. The show wasn’t absent of its drama. What went down is left to be honestly admitted, but during Alicia Key’s speech of accepting her award for Best New Artist, in the audience Suge Knight caused a small scuffle between Snoop Dogg and his entourage, to then be quietly dissolved. All in all, the 2nd Annual BET AWARDS still created the perfect atmosphere for lovers and creators of Black Entertainment to celebrate in style, energy and with power the various talents from generations of today and yesteryear.