BET

“That’s What American Music Is All About” – Obama, BET Host Celebrity-Fueled White House Celebration

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

BET loves President Obama. It’s not hard to see why. For eight years, the president has worked deliberately to help those who had long been overlooked, overseeing the legalization of same-sex marriage, overall economic expansion, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, and more.

To emphasize the point, the net recently put together this list of seven things they most appreciate about the soon-to-be-former president’s work:

The president has taken time to speak directly to BET viewers, most memorably in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown and other unarmed black men by police across the country, when he sat down with BET News’ Jeff Johnson to discuss the importance of peaceful protest to the health and evolution of our nation. Click the image below to watch the full interview:

obama-with-jeff-johnson

As much as Obama has driven change in national policy and added gravity to essential conversations on race and justice, he has also committed considerable energy to emphasizing the importance that sports and the arts play in American culture. Never has his dedication to the musical arts been more apparent than with BET’s farewell flourish to the president, BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration, which will air on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET.

The event, which the network hosted at the White House in October, features performances by Usher, Common, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., The Roots, De La Soul, Jill Scott, Yolanda Adams, Bell Biv DeVoe, Michelle Williams and Kiki Sheard. Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Bradley Cooper and Jesse Williams attended, reminiscing about Obama’s legacy.

Obama, whose reputation for comedic timing is legendary, seized a moment to re-dub the event “Barack Obama’s Block Party”:

Obama’s Block Party from Viacom on Vimeo.

This is one of a series of musical evenings the Obamas have hosted over their eight years in the White House, which have featured performers as diverse as Bob Dylan and Jennifer Hudson, carrying on a tradition of performance that stretches back to the administration of John Adams in 1801. Obama underscored the importance of elevating the country’s rich musical heritage to such a prominent stage in the nation’s capital.

Read More

Big K.R.I.T. Speaks Out, Snoop Is Honored as DJ Khaled Hosts BET Hip Hop Awards

The annual BET Hip Hop Awards celebrates and showcases the year’s best in hip-hop culture, and 2016 was no exception. From Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the awards dished out memorable honors and performances by some of the biggest names in the industry. This year’s Hip Hop Awards, hosted by major key himself DJ Khaled, left us wanting “another one.”

via GIPHY

Why? Check out some highlights below, then watch the rest here.

Let’s Get Things Moving

Take notes – this is how to open a show in style. Gucci Mane performed from his ninth studio album, Everybody Looking, alongside producer Zaytoven. Joined later on stage by Young Thug, Travis Scott and Migos Quavo, the artists set the stage for the Hip Hop Awards, teaming up to perform Pick Up the Phone. Watch it here.

via GIPHY

Read More

Viacom Employee Lottery Winner Courtney McNulty’s BET Experience: “I Could Feel the Fire in the Air”

Courtney McNulty, Viacom’s coordinator for intellectual property and litigation at our Santa Monica office, is the latest winner in the series of employee lotteries for Viacom awards shows. She attended the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26 in her hometown of Los Angeles.

image2

Our employee lottery winner, Courtney McNulty, outside of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with her friend, Rihanna Lane.

So far, our winners have seen some of the most radical ceremonies in Viacom history. Our first winner, Shannon Griffith, won a trip to Nashville for the CMT awards. The CMT Awards showcased its innovative, eclectic genre and proved rap and country can merge harmoniously.

Our next winner, Joseph Stephan, witnessed the magic that was Logo’s Trailblazer Honors.  Logo’s Trailblazer Honors came at a crucial moment for the LGBT community. It provided a safe haven for its dedicated fan base after the devastating attack in Orlando, and memorialized those lost in the senseless act of violence and hate.

Like the Trailblazer Honors, The BET Awards is a fundamental space for the black community to unite against oppression and forge a new standard for equality. In this year’s ceremony, Jesse Williams demanded civil rights in a riveting speech that went viral. The show featured an array of talent delivering heartfelt Prince tributes. Beyoncé literally flooded the stage with her performance of Freedom.

I chatted with McNulty about the experience of living these moments.

Read More

The 2016 BET Awards Reminded the World to Stay Woke

On June 26, the stage of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles flooded with water as Beyoncé belted out the vocals to Freedom. Kendrick Lamar joined the singer mid-way through the performance, emerging from a cloud of red fog. The duo stomped and splashed as fiery smoke billowed into the rafters.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Recording artists Beyonce (L) and Kendrick Lamar perform onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar perform at the BET Awards. Photo courtesy of Getty.

Beyoncé and Lamar’s battle cry against oppression foreshadowed an electrifying night of activism and empowerment at the 2016 BET Awards.

Read More

BET Goes Worldwide

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

BET is all over the place these days. They’re taking over the Los Angeles Convention center and L.A. Live this weekend for the BET Experience. They’ll be honoring Jesse Williams and Samuel L. Jackson at the BET Awards on Sunday night. The entire network launched in France late last year.

But it’s about to be really all over the place.

The BET Play app drops today, and it’s going to bring English-language BET content to smartphones, tablets, and AirPlay-enabled television sets in 100 countries.

Read More

BET’s Black Girls Rock: A Celebration of Leadership, Sisterhood, and Self Love

When celebrity deejay, producer and philanthropist Beverly Bond founded Black Girls Rock, she wanted to promote a message she thought was missing in society: Black girls can rule the world.

“I started Black Girls Rock because I love us and I believe in us,” Bond said at the sixth annual celebration, which BET aired on Tuesday, April 5. “I want us to walk righteous in our spirit. Own your magic, walk in your purpose, rock in your truth.”

Black Girls Rock is more than an awards show. It’s a way of life. That’s why the show honored women who prove there are many different ways to rock. From stars like Amandla Stenberg to the founders of Black Lives Matter, these winners embrace sisterhood and use their platform to invoke worldwide, positive change.

Actress and producer Tracee Ellis Ross returned to host the show for the sixth time. In a bold red cat-suit and braided wig, Ross performed a tribute to the musicians who inspire her—including her mother, Diana Ross.

Read More

Now Coming to BET: An Extra Helping of Soul

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Since 2009, BET has delivered an icon of American culture to screens across the land in the form of the annual Soul Train Awards on Centric, reviving a legacy that stretched back to the original Soul Train musical variety show that rose from the early 1970s and ran until 2006.

Earlier this week, the network made a more substantial commitment, acquiring the whole of Soul Train, including a massive television archive of more than 1,100 episodes and 40 specials.

Read More

Delivering MLK Day Love With Care Packages

IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 114
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 114
Stuart Stuart
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 142
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 142
Stuart Stuart
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 143
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 143
Stuart Stuart
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 252
IHDF ViacomBET MLK Service Day 2016 252
Stuart Stuart

​​What better way to spread encouragement to freshmen in college than by sending a care package? Through the sleepless nights of studying, drowning in coffee, and raiding sofa cushions for loose change to buy ramen noodles, it is nice to know that someone out there cares.

On the Friday before Martin Luther King Day, Viacommunity, BET and many eager volunteers teamed up with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation to assemble 200 care packages for college freshman across the country. The care packages contained branded BET notebooks, Viacommunity-branded sunglasses and tote bags, stationary, snacks, and personal handwritten notes of encouragement. The students, or “Dreamers,” receiving the packages have overcome disadvantaged and underserved beginnings and are on their way to becoming the leaders of tomorrow – truly fulfilling Dr. King’s vision of an equal world.

 

In a society where only nine percent of students from low-income families earn a bachelor’s degree, the I Have a Dream Foundation is a crucial in transforming the lives of Dreamers by supporting them from the third grade through postsecondary education. Dreamers are two times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree compared to their low-income peers.

Viacommunity and BET will continue to help Dreamers transform dreams into reality by partnering with this great organization. ​

Read More