Celebrities don’t need a red carpet to get all dressed up, as proven by this year’s BET Awards.
The show recognises African American and American minority achievements in music, arts and sport, and this year was entirely virtual. Hosted by comedian and actor Amanda Seales – who you might recognise from TV show Insecure – the event was dominated by the anti-racism protests that have swept the world since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis just over a month ago.
Ahead of the show, Seales told E! it would offer "escapism without avoidance". Black Lives Matter and issues of systemic racism were front and centre, but it was still as entertaining as we’ve come to expect from the real life awards.
Fashion and beauty play a big part in this, even though celebrities were attending from home. Here are some of the best (virtual) looks from the night…
Tracee Ellis Ross has her own hair care brand, Pattern Beauty, so it’s unsurprising her hair look was standout. She gelled her baby hairs into playful curls and circles, and topped off the look with a bright pink lip.
Lizzo was crowned best female R&B/pop artist. The 32-year-old went for a black tie look in a monochrome evening gown with an Eighties-inspired accent ruffle. Bonus points go to Lizzo for filming in front of a tasteful nude photograph of herself; it’s the album cover image for Cuz I Love You.
You can’t accuse Amanda Seales of phoning anything in – she wore an impressive 13 outfits for her hosting duties. Her fashion and beauty looks were all by black creatives, with outfits from designers like Pyer Moss and Dapper Dan. Seales told WWD: "We wanted to tell a story of Black creativity, pay homage to iconic moments of Black style, and amplify the work of these Black fashion innovators."
Megan Thee Stallion accepted the award for best female hip hop artist in black velvet and artfully placed cut-outs. And for her Mad Max-style BET performance, wore a utility crop top and booty shorts with waist-length sleek hair.
There was also a performance from Alicia Keys, who sang her new song Perfect Way To Die, written in response to recent conversations around police brutality and racism. It was a powerful performance that concluded with Keys taking a knee. She wore an all-black leather ensemble, with echoes of the style synonymous with the Black Panthers.
Jennifer Hudson performed Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted And Black, one of the major anthems of the Civil Rights movement in the 1970s. Hudson did so in a suitably regal outfit of green velvet and a jewel-encrusted choker.
Marsai Martin, 15, accepted the YoungStars Award, and created a unique at-home red carpet by floating on a lilo in her pool. She wore a sunny yellow dress for the occasion.