The BET Awards, nearly a year after its virtual 2020 iteration, returned for a buzzy in-person ceremony that brought in 2.4 million viewers across several ViacomCBS networks including BET Her, MTV, Logo and VH1.
The 2021 BET Awards, which saw Megan Thee Stallion lead the evening’s wins with a total of four honors, broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater on Sunday with Taraji P. Henson serving as host. The annual awards ceremony brought in a total of 1.7M viewers on BET alone and 3.7M overall viewers on the network throughout the evening.
Headline-making moments, such as Lil Nas X’s “Montero” and Queen Latifah’s moving Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech, highlighted the annual celebration of Black music, TV, film, sports and social impact. The evening also featured a tribute to rapper DMX.
With the awards ceremony itself, The Countdown to BET Awards and DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic: BET Awards Edition, the network drew in 4.6M viewers over its eight hours of coverage.
Beyond broadcast, the BET Awards saw a boost in views in BET Digital views, raking in a total of 72 million. This year’s numbers were up by 11% from 2020 and 31% from the 2019 show. #BETAwards trended on Twitter in the top spot consecutively for five hours worldwide.
“Last year, we proudly did the unthinkable producing the first official awards show amid a global pandemic while pushing our creative boundaries,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. “This year, we worked tirelessly to safely deliver an award show unlike any other that not only exceeded our expectations but continues to illustrate and celebrate the beauty and excellence of Black culture. And we did this with a live fully vaccinated audience and all-star lineup of talent that trusted us with their creative vision and biggest moments. ”
“We are thrilled with the remarkable success and viewership of the BET Awards,” added BET President Scott Mills. “We have been at the forefront of turning our signature programming events into massive cultural entertainment touchpoints that authentically celebrate the Black community as no other brand can.”
The show also touted and performances by Andra Day, DaBaby, H.E.R., Migos, Monie Love, Tyler, the Creator and more. Chloe Bailey, Ciara, Issa Rae, Jennifer Hudson, Lena Waithe, Marsai Martin, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Mj Rodriguez, Naomi Campbell and Regina Hall also made special appearances throughout the evening.