Megan Thee Stallion was the top winner at the 2021 BET Awards, which aired June 27 on BET. She took four awards — best female hip hop artist; video of the year and best collaboration, both for “WAP,” her steamy collab with Cardi B; and the viewer’s choice award for “Savage,” her collab with Beyoncé.
This is the second year in a row that Megan has won best female hip hop artist. It’s also the second year in a row she has won the viewer’s choice award. She received that award last year for “Hot Girl Summer,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign.
Here are other artists who set records on the night.
Jazmine Sullivan took album of the year for Heaux Tales, her first studio album in six years. It’s the first R&B (as opposed to rap) album to win in this category since Beyoncé’s Lemonade (the inaugural winner in the category) four years ago. The last three winners were Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Roddy Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial. This award could give a boost to Sullivan’s album in the upcoming Grammy race. Sullivan has yet to win a Grammy, despite 12 nominations.
Lil Baby took best male hip hop artist for the first time. He beat, among others, last year’s winner in the category, DaBaby, and four-time category champ Drake.
H.E.R. took best female R&B/pop artist for the first time, beating, among others, Beyoncé, a 10-time winner in the category. H.E.R. has had a historic year at top-tier awards shows. She and her collaborators D’Mile and Tiara Thomas became the first songwriters in 35 years to win the Oscar for best original song and the Grammy for song of the year in the same year, but with different songs. Lionel Richie achieved the feat in 1986.
Chris Brown took best male R&B/pop artist for a record-extending sixth time.
Silk Sonic, consisting of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, took best group on the strength of their retro soul smash “Leave the Door Open,” a No. 1 hit on both the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Silk Sonic beat, among others, Migos, which won in this category the last four years. Mars is a long-time BET favorite: He won best male R&B/pop artist three years in a row from 2017-19.
Mars won a second award this year for video director of the year for co-directing the “Leave the Door Open” video with Florent Dechard.
Giveon won best new artist. The R&B artist competed with five hip-hop performers so he had the advantage of being the outlier in the competition. Giveon was Grammy-nominated this past year for best R&B album for Take Time, so he won’t be eligible to compete for best new artist at the upcoming 64th annual Grammy Awards.
SZA took the HER Award for “Good Days.” The soulful ballad rose to No. 9 on the Hot 100 and No. 3 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Kirk Franklin‘s “Strong God,” a track from his 2019 album Long Live Love, won the Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award. It’s Franklin’s record-extending fifth win in the category.
Burna Boy, the Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer, took best international act for the third year in a row. Bree Runway (the first name is short for Brenda), an English singer, rapper and songwriter, won best new international act.
Judas and the Black Messiah, which was Oscar-nominated for best picture, won best movie. Shaka King directed and co-wrote the film.
Andra Day won for best actress for the first time on the strength of her Oscar-nominated performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day beat, among others, Viola Davis, who was also Oscar-nominated this year for best actress for her role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The late Chadwick Boseman won best actor for the second time in four years for his Oscar-nominated performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He won in this same category at the BET Awards three years ago for the box-office smash Black Panther.
Marsai Martin, the 16-year old co-star of ABC’s Black-ish, won the YoungStars award for the third year in a row. She’s the first three-time winner in the category. Keke Palmer and Yara Shahidi (also featured on Black-ish) both won the award twice.