BET CEO Debra Lee Is First Woman to Win Recording Academy Industry Icon Award—And She “Won’t Be the Last”

Who brought music industry legends Joni Mitchell, Clive Davis, Neil Diamond, Quincy Jones, Britney Spears, Stevie Wonder, Russell Simmons; rising stars such as Chance the Rapper and Lorde; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas; and a slew of Kardashians to the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, Feb. 11?

BET CEO Debra L. Lee.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Debra Lee and Stephen Hill attend BET's Pre-Grammy Brunch at The Four Seasons Hotel on February 12, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Debra Lee and Stephen Hill attend BET’s Pre-Grammy Brunch at The Four Seasons Hotel on February 12, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET)

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The Must-See Moments of the 2016 VMAs

It wasn’t VH1’s Hip Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens, but women ruled the VMAs this year. MTV’s flagship award show took place Sunday, August 28 at Madison Square Garden, and featured a host of first-name-only divas, from Rihanna to Beyoncé to Britney (and back to Rihanna).

VMAs seats

Alicia Keys had a front row seat at the 2016 VMAs. Photo courtesy of MTV.

As always, the VMAs were a cultural phenomenon. We can quantify this in new ways thanks to social media. The 33rd annual ceremony drew nearly 50 million streams on Facebook, and tripled in Snapchat impressions since last year. According to Nielsen, the VMAs produced 90 percent of TV social conversation that night.

Read more to find out why the VMAs broke the internet.

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