Viewers can watch the 2016 BET Awards live online and see the tribute to the late music superstar, Prince, along with the potential for a big night from Drake, Rihanna, and Beyoncé.
The awards will be airing live on Sunday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, a celebration of African-American contributions to music and the entertainment industry. The show will air on BET at 8 p.m. ET and will also be available live online for those unable to make it to a television (a link to the streaming video can be found below).
The show will be hosted once again by Black-ish co-stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, who return for their second consecutive year.
It could be a great night for rapper Drake. He leads the show’s nominees with nine, while Rihanna and Beyoncé each have five. Chris Brown, Future, and Bryson Tiller each have four nominations each. The full list of nominations for the 2016 BET Awards can be found here.
While the award show is a chance for African-American artists to receive recognition for their work, the awards don’t discriminate. In fact, last year’s Best New Artist Award went to Sam Smith, who wasn’t actually at the show.
Host Anthony Anderson accepted on his behalf, and threw a joke in for good measure.
“Sam Smith could not be here tonight because he’s white, and he didn’t think he would win at the BET Awards and he didn’t think he could win, but we showed him that we love him too,” Anthony said.
Those who watch the 2016 BET Awards live online will also see plenty of performances, including Jennifer Hudson, Usher, and Alicia Keys. The most anticipated performance is a tribute to Prince, one that has Stevie Wonder joining with The Roots and other artists to pay tribute to the legendary singer.
— E! News (@enews) June 26, 2016
The Prince tribute at the 2016 BET Awards is even more highly anticipated after the much-panned tribute thrown together for the Billboard Music Awards, which included a performance from Madonna. As E! Online noted, there are some high expectations for Sunday’s tribute.
“Whether it was a fair assessment of what actually occurred on the stage or not, the Internet widely panned Madonna’s rendition of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,’ which Prince was more famous for writing than singing, and apparently the moment couldn’t be salvaged even by Stevie Wonder joining her onstage for ‘Purple Rain.’ (Though you just can’t argue with a mass singalong to ‘Purple Rain,’ Rihanna, The Weeknd and everyone else in the audience getting swept up in the emotional moment.)”
The tribute is getting plenty of play from BET itself, which has been hyping it up in the days leading up to Sunday’s award show.
— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 24, 2016
Other artists involved in Sunday’s performance are looking forward to the tribute, including singer Janelle Monae, who dedicated her performance at the Jazz Fest 2016 to Prince, who she called a mentor.
“Oh, we’re gonna party. We’re gonna celebrate Prince,” she said (via E! Online). “He was free. He was fearless. He was music. He was rock and roll. He was on beat… I am because he was. We’re gonna break boundaries, just like he did.”
And some of Prince’s former collaborators say they are looking forward to see what Stevie Wonder and The Roots may come up with.
“It’s about his legacy,” Prince’s former drummer, Sheila E., told Entertainment Tonight. “Those songs, he left them for us forever. They are forever embedded in all of us, and I think we’re going to have a wonderful time.”
There will be other honors at Sunday’s award show, including Samuel L. Jackson winning the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Viewers who want to watch the 2016 BET Awards live online can click here for streaming video from the show’s official website. There will also be streaming coverage from the red carpet starting at 5:30 p.m.
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]