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BET Awards 2019… Burna Boy’s Day In The Sun

Reigning Nigerian artiste Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, recently added to his award kitty after he was announced winner of the Best International Act award at the just concluded 2019 BET Awards. The singer, who is the first brand ambassador for Star, beat fellow nominees Teni, Makanaki, Mr Eazi to win the category.

In his absence, his mum and manager, Bose Ogulu, who in her acceptance speech said the message from Burna to every black person is to “remember you were Africans before you became anything else.”

Right from his early stage in the industry, Burna Boy showed sparks of creativity; he stepped out with a different vibe that easily endeared him to music fans. However, credit must go her mother, who stepped into the gap to ensure he gets all needed media exposure. On the other hand, his grand father Benson Idonije, renowned music critic, who was first manager of Fela, also put in words to get Burna Boy on limelight. But unlike some, who depended on hype, talent saw Burna Boy through.

Though he had been playing gigs in the country, especially within Port Harcourt axis where he stayed upon his return from London, Burna Boy’s first major outing was on March 11, 2012, when he opened for Grammy award winning American artiste Bobby Brown, at the Polo Club, Port Harcourt. The gig, which featured other notable Nigerian artistes such as 2Baba, Banky W, Modenine and others, was an opportunity for Burna Boy to showcase himself on a big stage. With his single Wombolobo, he left nobody in doubt of his musical ability. Today, the rest is history.

The International Act category has honoured previous African winners, who have gone on to trailblazer Africa’s culture proudly and become recognisable worldwide for their talent from Nigeria’s 2face and D’banj in 2011 and Wizkid in 2017, Ghana’s Sarkodie and Stonebwoy in 2012 and 2015 respectively and South Africa’s Black Coffee in 2016.

Last year, for the first time, globally acclaimed Davido emotionally received his BET Best International Act Award live on stage during the global broadcast of the show with South Africa’s Sjava in traditional Zulu regalia receiving his Best New International Act at the live Red-Carpet Show.

At this year’s award, BET Networks honored a powerful and show-stopping lineup of artistes, entertainers, cultural icons and inspiring humanitarians across more than 18 categories at the 19th Annual BET Awards. The ceremony, hosted by actress and comedian Regina Hall, aired live on BET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

This year’s broadcast celebrated the very best in entertainment and culture with performances and appearances by some of the biggest names across television, film, and music.

The award, which has become synonymous with powerful artistry and social commentary, continued to spotlight and celebrate the artists and creators of tomorrow, making the ceremony one of the most news-provoking and talked-about broadcasts year after year.

Cardi B. and Offset opened the show with the first-ever televised performance by the notorious couple and set the tone with a sexy, high-energy medley of their newest hit Clout and Cardi B’s Press, all set against a show-stopping fireworks backdrop.
Burna Boy’s announcement as the winner of the Best International act category.

Regina Hall opened the show as the 2019 BET Awards host with a tribute to her hometown of Washington D.C. with witty commentary and a go-go musical number by  Suga Bear from E.U and James Funk from Rare Essence.

DaBaby delivered a high energy and dynamic performance of hit single Suge accompanied by inflatable giant baby dancers. Rihanna delivered a heartfelt introduction to Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and hip-hop and soul legend Mary J. Blige. The Grammy Award-winning icon took the stage herself with a mashup of some of her greatest award-winning hits including My Life, No More Drama.

Taraji P. Henson presented world-renowned producer, director, actor, screenwriter, playwright, author and her personal friend, Tyler Perry with the Ultimate Icon Award celebrating his cultural impact. During his rousing acceptance speech, Perry encouraged others to “own their way” with an emotional story of the racist history behind his Atlanta studio and his hopes of how understanding history, cultural impact and remembering those before will drive black creative voices.

Prolific artiste, activist and luminary, Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the Humanitarian Award for his commitment to uniting communities through peace. Accepting the award on his behalf, Nipsey’s family shared emotional memories and thanked his fans and community for their support.John Legend, DJ Khaled and Marsha Amrosius celebrated Nipsey’s legacy with moving tribute performance of Real Big and Last Time I Checc’d back dropped by clouds.

In its nineteenth year, the BET Awards continues its reign as the ultimate platform showcasing the best and most beautiful aspects of the Black experience – celebrating not only the present and future of Black music, but also elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change.

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