The 2017 BET Awards was held on June 25, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The ceremony celebrated achievements in entertainment and honors music, sports, television, and movies released between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
Bruno Mars kicked off the night with his trademark zest: his performance of “Perm” was full of funk, humor, sharply coordinated movement, and repeated exhortations to dance. He took the stage flanked by his band, and for the duration of the track, they moved as one unit, mixing the slick choreography of groups like the Time with the brassy blasts of the great 1970s groove bands. Mars’ bassist was especially formidable, reeling off fleet, muscular riffs that drove the group’s side-toside forays. Two-thirds of the way through “Perm,” Mars brought his band to a sudden stop so he could gently chide the left side of the theater for lackluster audience engagement. Chance the Rapper won BET’s humanitarian award for donating $1 million to Chicago’s public schools. Former first lady Michelle Obama presented the award in a video message stating: “We are so incredibly proud of you Chance. We have known Chance and his family since he was a wee little baby rapper, and it has been a thrill to watch him come into his own in so many different ways,” she said. “Time and again, he has been standing up, speaking out and doing the work to get kids in our community the education they deserve,”
New Edition was recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
“30-plus years in the music industry will chew you up and spit you out, but all six of us are standing onstage right now,” said Ricky Bell before the group performed a medley of their hits. “What an amazing thing.” The four-hour award show was hosted by comedian Leslie Jones, who kept the laughs coming. The evening featured performances by Bruno Mars, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled.
Kendrick Lamar took home the award for best male hip hop artist and paid tribute to Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, who died last week. “I was inspired to study my skills and work on my connection with my neighborhood,” he said. “How can I inspire them the same way he inspired the streets?”