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Teyana Taylor and Victoria Monét
Teyana Taylor and Victoria Monét
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Culture > Entertainment

Usher’s 2024 BET Awards Tribute Was Girl Power At Its Finest, So Why Are People Mad?

The saying “the future is female” is real, and the same can be said for the music industry following a stunning tribute performance at the 2024 BET Awards on June 30. 

ICYMI, Usher received the Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s BET Music Awards ceremony. The recognition is given to an artist or group who has made significant contributions to the music industry. Along with the award, recipients are recognized with a live tribute performance that commemorates their most significant musical undertakings, projects, and groundbreaking entertainment moments.

R&B powerhouses Victoria Monét, Keke Palmer, Teyana Taylor, and Coco Jones, among others, were tasked with stunning performances that honored Usher, and let’s just say they didn’t disappoint. Many are still reeling over the singers’ incredibled performances. However, after the nearly 17-minute-long performance, not everyone was in favor of the selection, resulting in some strongly mixed reactions that have been spreading on my FYP. 

The performance began with Childish Gambino and Keke Palmer sharing the stage, as they  bounced off energy from one another and sang their own rendition of “You Don’t Have To Call,” followed by Palmer’s performance-heavy solo cover of Usher’s song “You Make Me Wanna.” Everything comes full circle, as viewers pointed out that just a year ago, Palmer was involved in a controversy with her now-ex Darius Jackson as a result of her appearance at Usher’s Las Vegas residency show, and now, she’s helped lead a stage tribute in honor of the legendary singer.

Acts that followed were Summer Walker performing “Good Good,” Coco Jones serenading the crowd with “There Goes My Baby,” and Marsha Ambrosius performing “Superstar.” 

One of the highly acclaimed solos act came from Chlöe’s high-energy performance of “Good Kisser,” followed by Tinashe’s performance of “Nice and Slow.” Teyana Taylor and Victoria Monét amazed the audience near the end of the tribute with their dance-heavy performance of “Bad Girl,” which was inspired by Usher’s stage performance with Beyonce during his Truth Tour in Puerto Rico in 2004. Latto was the last artist to take the stagr as she performed “Yeah!” by Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris with all of the acts taking the stage together. 

Viewers couldn’t help but point out that the tribute was mostly performed by female artists, which surprised some and piqued others’ curiosity. 

Fans and watchers of the awards show had conflicting feelings about the tribute, with some  supporting the primarily female-led production and praising BET for involving such incredible singers and performers. Some fans claimed that such inclusion contributed to a focus on girl power and overall strength in the live performances of this generation’s new and emerging female musicians.

Critics, on the other hand, were unimpressed with the female empowerment decision and instead criticized the lack of performances by male R&B artists, as only Childish Gambino performed briefly on the tribute stage. 

Others wondered if the lack of male artists on stage simply reflected the fact that there aren’t many male R&B artists that can perform on the same level as Usher.

Putting all debates aside, Usher’s tribute at the 2024 BET Awards was the talk of the night, and it left me absolutely gagged!

Siobhan Robinson is a member of the Her Campus national writing program. She works on the Entertainment and Culture team, covering the most recent pop culture events, trends, and entertainment releases. Previously, she worked as an Entertainment and Culture intern during the Spring 2023 semester, where she was supervised in writing breaking news verticals, live coverage of events such as the Grammys and Met Gala, and interviewing emerging Gen Z talent for Her Campus's "Next Questions" segment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Spring 2024 with a B.A. in Communication Studies from San Jose State University and received communication honors for completing a graduate-level course during her undergraduate studies. While in college, she was an active member of the SJSU chapter of Her Campus, serving on the executive board as Editor-In-Chief. In this role, she supervised a team of writers, senior editors, and copy editors, and assessed their articles for the site. Previously, she served as a senior editor, supervising a team of 4-5 writers, and also worked as a campus correspondent for the entire chapter. Additionally, she contributed to the school's publication magazine, Access, and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. In her free time, Siobhan enjoys scrapbooking, hanging out with friends, going to concerts, and, of course, writing for fun! A die-hard fangirl, she loves sharing everything she knows about her favorite boy bands, even if you don't ask. If you need her, you'll likely find her binge-watching the latest K-drama or catching up on pop-culture social commentaries on YouTube.