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The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other American minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year. The awards are presented annually, and are broadcast live on BET. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a televised ceremony.

BET Awards
BET Awards 2019
BET Awards 2018 Trophy
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in the entertainment industry
CountryUnited States
Presented byBET
First awardedJune 19, 2001; 17 years ago (2001-06-19)
Website Edit this on Wikidata



The BET Award Trophy, inspired by three words - aspire, ascend, achieve, was designed by artist/sculptor Carlos "Mare139" Rodriguez.[1] OutKast won the first award trophy during the first ceremony in 2001. In 2007, Society Awards, the New York firm who manufactures the award, enhanced the quality of the trophy design using plated steel and black crystal.


Year Day Date Cumulative TV viewers (in millions)
2006 Tuesday June 27, 2006 6.9[citation needed]
2007 Tuesday June 26, 2007 6.3[citation needed]
2008 Tuesday June 24, 2008 5.8[2]
2009 Sunday June 28, 2009 10.6[3]
2010 Sunday June 27, 2010 7.4[4]
2011 Sunday June 26, 2011 7.7[5]
2012 Sunday July 1, 2012 7.4[6]
2013 Sunday June 30, 2013 7.8[7]
2014 Sunday June 29, 2014 7.9[8]
2015 Sunday June 28, 2015 6.5[9]
2016 Sunday June 26, 2016 7.2[10]
2017 Sunday June 25, 2017 5.7
2018 Sunday June 24, 2018 5.9
2019 Sunday June 23, 2019 TBA

List of ceremoniesEdit

The inaugural ceremony in 2001 was held at the Paris Las Vegas resort on the Las Vegas Strip. From 2002 to 2005, the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood hosted the awards. From 2006 to 2012, the ceremonies were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The ceremony was moved to the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in 2013.

Most recent BET Awards winners
← 2017 24 June 2018 2019 →
Award Album of the Year Video of the Year
Winner Kendrick Lamar
"God's Plan"
Award Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Best Collaboration
Winner Cardi B
"Bodak Yellow"
DJ Khaled
"Wild Thoughts"
# Date Venue Host city Host
1st June 19, 2001 Paris Las Vegas Las Vegas Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer
2nd June 29, 2002 Kodak Theatre Los Angeles
3rd June 24, 2003 Mo'Nique
4th June 29, 2004
5th June 28, 2005 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
6th June 27, 2006 Shrine Auditorium Damon Wayans
7th June 26, 2007 Mo'Nique
8th June 24, 2008 D. L. Hughley
9th June 28, 2009 Jamie Foxx
10th June 27, 2010 Queen Latifah
11th June 26, 2011 Kevin Hart
12th July 1, 2012 Samuel L. Jackson
13th June 30, 2013 Microsoft Theater Chris Tucker
14th June 29, 2014 Chris Rock
15th June 28, 2015 Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross
16th June 26, 2016
17th June 25, 2017 Leslie Jones
18th June 24, 2018 Jamie Foxx
19th June 23, 2019 Regina Hall

Nomination processEdit

There is a voting academy made up of about 500 people from the music industry, media, and bloggers. BET sends out ballots electronically and voters nominate in all the different categories who they think should be award nominees. These are collated by a group called "Yangaroo" that works on other awards shows as well, and they narrow it to the top five nominees, and send that list back out to the academy to vote on the winner.


Award categoriesEdit

Current awardsEdit

Defunct awardsEdit

Special awardsEdit

The BET Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian and Ultimate Icon Award recipients, along with the nominees for other categories are announced in a press conference. At the awards ceremony a mini-documentary is shown covering the honorees' life. The awards are given out separately. The Ultimate Icon Award was created in 2015 and presented in the ceremony.

Lifetime Achievement

The BET Lifetime Achievement Award is given a veteran artist or group who has made notable contributions to the music industry. The honoree is paid tribute to by current popular singers who perform the honoree's most recognized songs. The honoree will usually perform themselves after being paid tribute.


In 2002, at the second annual BET Awards, the category for the BET Award Humanitarian Award was created. The Humanitarian Award is given to a celebrity philanthropist who donates their time and money to a charitable cause.

Ultimate Icon

In 2015 and 2018, at the fifteenth and eighteenth annual BET Awards, the category of the Ultimate Icon Award was created. It is given to a veteran artist whose career is deemed iconic by fans and critics alike for their notable contributions in the music, dance and music video fields.

Most nominated and winning artistsEdit

Below are the current rankings for the most wins and most nominated artist (male & female):

Most wins (as of 2018)[citation needed]

Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Artist Beyoncé Chris Brown Drake Serena Williams Nicki Minaj
Total wins 26 15 13 12 11

Most nominations (as of 2017)

This is a list of multiple nominated performers, athletes & actors with 5 or more career nominations. Beyoncé is currently the most nominated performer with 61 nominations, solo and with Destiny's Child.[citation needed]

65 nominations

51 nominations

  • Drake 46 solo; 5 w/ Young Money

42 nominations

35 nominations

  • Jay Z 30 solo; 5 w/ Watch The Throne

33 nominations

31 nominations

23 nominations

21 nominations

19 nominations

18 nominations

17 nominations

16 nominations

15 nominations

14 nominations

13 nominations

12 nominations

11 nominations

10 nominations

9 nominations

8 nominations

7 nominations

6 nominations

5 nominations


  1. ^ "Carlos Mare aka Mare139 Prints and Original Art | 1xRUN". 1xRUN. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  2. ^ "Page not found – TV By The Numbers by".
  3. ^ "Jackson Tribute BET Awards Edges Jon & Kate Plus 8 To Lead Cable Shows". 30 June 2009.
  4. ^ "The "BET Awards" '10 Remains The #1 Cable Awards Show, Drawing 7.4 Million Total Viewers". 29 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Cable Top 25: 'BET Awards,' 'True Blood, 'NASCAR' and 'Burn Notice' Top Weekly Cable Viewing". 28 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Cable Top 25: 'The 2012 BET Awards' Tops Cable Viewership For Week Ending July 1, 2012". 3 July 2012.
  7. ^ Kissell, Rick (2 July 2013). "BET Awards Hit 4-Year Ratings High, Rules As Sunday's No. 1 Program".
  8. ^ "BET Awards Ratings Rise to 7.9 Million Viewers With Host Chris Rock". 30 June 2014.
  9. ^ "TV Ratings: BET Awards Dip to 6.5 Million Viewers".
  10. ^ Patten, Dominic (27 June 2016). "BET Awards Viewership Rises Over 2015 With Simulcast On 12 Viacom Nets".

External linksEdit