The 2022 BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday (June 26) at the Microsoft Theater, and brought out some of the most prominent artists across the hip-hop, R&B, and Gospel spaces. From Sean “Diddy” Combs anchoring a mega-set for his lifetime achievement award performance to the young stars such as Jack Harlow, Latto, and Ella Mai bringing out household legends, the 2022 BET Awards were an event to behold.
Billboard ranked the performances of the night below. Check it out.
12. FireBoy DML, “Peru”
After Tems accepted the award for best collaboration on behalf of Wizkid’s “Essence (Remix),” Africa enjoyed its moment even longer when EMPIRE’s heralded rookie FireBoy DML dished out “Peru.” FireBoy did a commendable job representing the genre as he shouted out his homeland during his entrancing performance. Fireboy DML is the first African artist to perform on the BET main stage.
11. Giveon, “Heartbreak Anniversary,” “For Tonight” and “Lie Again”
Though he experienced technical difficulties while singing “Heartbreak Anniversary,” Giveon rebounded smoothly when he tapped into his debut album Give or Take. The singer regained his composure and angelically floated through “For Tonight” and “Lie Again” during the show’s conclusion.
10. Muni Long, “Time Machine” & “Hrs and Hrs”
Long’s outfit was probably one of the best — performance-wise — as she donned a pink feathery skirt long enough to use as its own red-carpet entry. First, she tantalized viewers with her latest record, “Time Machine,” before diving into her sultry single “Hrs and Hrs.” Long’s slivery vocals didn’t disappoint, as she also had some crowd participation on the song’s sticky hook.
9. Chance the Rapper, “The Highs & the Lows”
Chance the Rapper’s penchant for stirring performances continued during the ceremony when he had his lyrical teammate Joey Bada$$ on hand to perform “The Highs & the Lows.” Chance’s creativity was on 10 as he wittingly placed the song’s lyrics onscreen for viewers so they didn’t miss a single step alongside the MCs. The lyrical exchange was a solid outing for Chance, who made his BET Awards return after a three-year hiatus.
8. Ella Mai, “DFMU,” “Keeps on Fallin’,” and “How”
A one-time BET Awards Amplify Stage performer, Ella Mai graced the main stage this year with a bevy of records. Though she first started a bit lackluster on “DFMU,” things were quickly reversed when Mai and Babyface injected color into her performance with their Tevin Campbell-sampled jam “Keeps on Fallin’.” Mai didn’t stop with the surprises, as she reeled in Roddy Ricch to give her an additional jolt with their breezy collab “How.”
7. Chloe Bailey, “Surprise” and “Treat Me”
Following up Puff’s Bad Boy medley isn’t an easy feat, but Chloe Bailey did a solid job in doing so. Bringing her new record “Surprise” to the BET Awards stage, Bailey didn’t hesitate to flaunt her sex appeal and seductive choreography as she brought out a man blindfolded to enjoy a free dance. After the steamy showcase, she capped her two-song set with “Treat Me.”
6. Doechii, “Persuasive” and “Crazy”
TDE’s latest signee strutted her way onto the BET Awards stage confidently. While her “Persuasive” performance was fun, it was “Crazy” that proved to be the winner of the two. After tossing her wig following “Persuasive,” Doechii’s frenetic energy was the driver in piecing together a formidable effort that should make Top Dawg comfortable knowing her potential as a live performer.
5. Kirk Franklin & Maverick City Music, “Kingdom” and “Melodies From Heaven”
Draped in black Mav City hoodies, the songwriting worship group Maverick City took the crowd of attendees to church during the show. After starting behind the piano, Franklin joined the festivities and enthralled the crowd with his high-octane energy and passionate declarations. Great move by BET to add Gospel into the fold and give the genre some love in a usually packed R&B and hip-hop field.
4. Latto, “It’s Givin” and “Big Energy”
Latto continued her strong run on the award circuit when she performed “It’s Givin” and “Big Energy.” After flexing her boss mentality on the former, Latto enlisted Young Dirty Bastard and the legendary Mariah Carey for a stroll down memory lane with a mashup of “Big Energy” and Carey’s hit “Fantasy.” Carey lit the stage up and shined with her enchanting vocals.
3. Jack Harlow, “Poison” and “First Class”
Sitting atop a washing machine, Harlow unleashed “Poison.” With the set staged like a pseudo house party, Harlow instantly earned brownie points when Lil Wayne joined the soiree as his guest verse. Then, Harlow had the crowd in a tizzy when he unwrapped his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single “First Class.”
With the attendees singing the Fergie-sampled hook, Harlow unlocked his BET Moment when he called on Brandy to rap her “First Class” freestyle alongside the Louisville slugger. The onstage peace treaty was a scene-stealing moment for Harlow, who sparked conversation earlier in the evening for his support of Lil Nas X with his red-carpet attire.
2. Lizzo, “About Damn Time”
The vivacious pop superstar kicked off the 2022 BET Awards with an electric performance of her Hot 100 hit “About Damn Time.” With an army of curvy dancers dressed in glittery gold outfits, Lizzo punched in a swaggering rendition of her top five smash with her flute in tow. Not only did Lizzo serve looks, attitude, and a nod to body positivity, but her commanding effort left the crowd in a partying mood.
1. Diddy, hits medley
In honor of his lifetime achievement award, Diddy hit the reset button and took fans on a ride down memory lane. First, he made a pit stop and highlighted his run at Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records when he called on Jodeci and Mary J. Blige to perform “Come and Talk to Me” and “I’m Goin’ Down,” respectively. After the R&B medley, Diddy entered the Bad Boy phase of his career when he entered the stage with his ’90s classic “Victory.” Diddy didn’t slow down, and instead reunited with Shyne on stage to perform his hit “Bad Boyz.” He continued to steamroll through his golden era of hits when he clocked in “All About the Benjamins” with The Lox and Lil Kim, along with “I Need A Girl Pt. II.”
Though Kim stumbled on her lyrics, an animated Busta Rhymes later zoomed onstage and fervently rapped “Pass the Courvoisier,” even cleverly changing the drink of choice to Ciroc. After Bryson Tiller made a cameo for Diddy’s new single “Gotta Move On,” Diddy played a touching video from his late longtime girlfriend Kim Porter to introduce his Hot 100 No. 1 single “I’ll Be Missing You.” Alongside Maverick City Music and Faith Evans, Puff closed the performance with a heartwarming tribute to Porter and Biggie.