BET Awards 2021: Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, HER and Andra Day are big winners on the night

Queen Latifah received the Lifetime Achievement Award while Swizz Beatz curated a tribute to DMX, who died in April

Cardi B's WAP has new meaning at the BET Awards: winning and pregnant.

The Grammy-winning star debuted her baby bump during a live performance on Sunday, alongside husband Offset as well as Quavo and Takeoff of Migos. She also won Video of the Year for her No 1 hit WAP featuring Megan Thee Stallion.

Cardi B did not stay to accept the honour at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, but Stallion rushed to the stage to pick up the award after her performance. However, she forgot to thank Cardi B during her speech.

Scroll through the gallery above for all the winners and performers of the night.

But the Savage rapper made up for it when she won Best Female Hip-Hop Artist moments later.

Megan Thee Stallion speaks after receiving the Viewer's Choice Award during the BET Awards at Microsoft theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

"I really forgot to say thank you Cardi for even putting me on WAP, because it makes me feel so good to be acknowledged by one of my peers, who I think so highly of," Stallion said. "I think so highly of all the women who was nominated in this category. Everybody knows I'm a girls' girl."

During her speech, the Grammy winner also paid tribute to her mother, who died in 2019.

“Thank you momma for putting it in me to even want to be a female rapper and putting the work ethic inside of me and the drive and push,” she said. “She can’t be here with me today but I still think about her everyday and she is the reason why I keep going.”

The awards show celebrated “the year of the black woman,” as actor and host Taraji P Henson said at the start of the show.

US Representative Maxine Waters said her signature phrase — “reclaiming my time” — before Jazmine Sullivan hit the stage for a sultry, top-notch performance featuring fellow R&B singer Ari Lennox.

Sullivan won Album of the Year for her critically acclaimed EP Heaux Tales. Like Stallion, she also honoured her mother, who is battling cancer and stood next to her during the show.

“Two years ago we would have never expected to be here. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago so we didn’t see any of this happening, but God has been so faithful to us and my mom is in remission,” Sullivan said.

“This is my prize. This is my gift. It means more to me than anything that she’s her with me. She supported me all my life.”

Andra Day accepts the best actress award at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The first award of the night went to Andra Day, who won Best Actress, while Darnella Frazier – the teenager who pulled out her cellphone and began recording when she saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a police officer – was given the Shine a Light Award.

Frazier did not attend the awards show but the honour came weeks after she was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prizes for her video that helped launch a global movement to protest racial injustice.

HER, who also wowed the audience with her performance, won Best Female R&B/Pop Artist. The Grammy winner told the crowd that it is “important for us to recognise each other and celebrate each other".

"If we don't, who else will?" she said.

The rest of the BET Awards featured more black girl magic: Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Queen Latifah received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Lil Kim, City Girls and Rapsody performed.

Queen Latifah accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award during the BET Awards at Microsoft theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Rapper Lil Baby and gospel performer Kirk Franklin joined forces to kick off the show with a performance that got Issa Rae, Queen Latifah, DJ Khaled and Zendaya bouncing in their seats. Dressed in all white, the artists performed the anthemic song We Win and were joined by dozens of background dancers and band members for the top notch performance.

DJ Khaled performs during the BET Awards at Microsoft theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Swizz Beatz curated a tribute to DMX, who died in April at age 50. Performers included Busta Rhymes, Method Man and Griselda. Lil Nas X and DJ Khaled also hit the stage during the show.

Lil Nas X won over the crowd with his No 1 hit Montero (Call Me By Your Name). His stage was set in Ancient Egypt, much like Michael Jackson's Remember the Time, which Lil Nas X paid tribute to with a skilled dance break during the performance.

Other winners Sunday included Chris Brown, who won best male R&B/pop artist; Giveon, named best new artist; and Silk Sonic — the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — took home the best group award. Chadwick Boseman posthumously won best actor.

Below is the list of winners at the 2021 BET Awards:

Video of the year: Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, WAP

Best female R&B/pop artist: HER

Best male R&B/pop artist: Chris Brown

Best female hip-hop artist: Megan Thee Stallion

Best male hip-hop artist: Lil Baby

Best new artist: Giveon

Best group: Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak)

Best collaboration: Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, WAP

Album of the year: Jazmine Sullivan, Heaux Tales

Viewer's Choice Award: Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce, Savage (Remix)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Queen Latifah

Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational Award: Kirk Franklin, Strong God

BET HER Award: SZA, Good Days

Video director of the year: Bruno Mars and Florent Dechard

Best actress: Andra Day

Best actor: Chadwick Boseman

Best movie: Judas and the Black Messiah

Youngstars award: Marsai Martin

Sportswoman of the year: Naomi Osaka

Sportsman of the year: LeBron James

Best international act: Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Viewer's choice — best new international act: Bree Runway (UK)

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Read more: 

From BTS and Billie Eilish to Prince and H.E.R.: seven albums to hear this summer

Grammy Awards 2021 pushed back to March after a surge in Covid cases in Los Angeles

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