BET Awards Will Air in June, But Three-Day BET Experience Is Canceled For This Year

Mary J. Blige
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET

Mary J. Blige accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award onstage at the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles.

This is the 20th anniversary of the BET Awards and the 40th anniversary of its parent network, BET.

The BET Awards will air on June 28, as long planned, thanks to "an array of innovative techniques and artist-generated content."

Many other award shows have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by postponing their 2020 presentations. These include the Academy of Country Music Awards, which were postponed to Sept. 16, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, postponed to Nov. 7. The BET Awards are among the first major award shows to stick with their original date, but modify the show to accommodate the current reality.

This is the 20th anniversary of the BET Awards and the 40th anniversary of its parent network, BET. Nominations, and the identity of this year's host and lifetime achievement award recipient, have yet to be announced. Last year's big winners included Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy, which was voted album of the year. Rihanna presented Mary J. Blige with a lifetime achievement award.

"The BET Awards are a seminal event – the biggest celebration of Black culture, Black accomplishment, Black excellence, and Black potential," Scott Mills, president of BET, said in a statement. "….Recognizing the unique role the BET Awards plays for so many, and the challenging times we find ourselves in, we know it was more important than ever to deliver the BET Awards in 2020."

Connie Orlando, EVP specials, music programming and music strategy at BET, will executive produce the special along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

"At BET, we place the health and safety of attendees, staff, vendors and partners first, which is why the biggest night in black entertainment will go on implementing this innovative production direction," Orlando said in a statement.

The BET Experience, the three-day event before the BET Awards, scheduled this year for June 25-27, was canceled. Refunds are available for all VIP packages sold to date. The BET Experience is set to return in 2021.

The BET Awards celebrates achievements in music, television, film, sports and philanthropy. Actress Regina Hall hosted last year's show.

The BET Awards originated in June 2001 from Paris Las Vegas. They have been broadcast from a Los Angeles venue ever since. They were held at the Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre) from 2002-05, the Shrine Auditorium from 2006-12 and Microsoft Theater from 2013-19.