Are you ready for the 2011 BET Awards? This year’s Awards Show will be like no other, but no hints here; you will have to stay tuned to find out why. Face2face Africa is proud to announce that we will be on site in Los Angeles as a media outlet, and will be bringing you exclusive and exciting coverage of this monumental show which will be taking place LIVE on Sunday, June 26th at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Last year, people were very proud to see the Best International Act addition to the categories. For the first time in its then tenth year of broadcast, nominations were given to some of the most talented African and UK Artists, including P-Square, K’NAAN, Estelle, M.I., Kojo Antwi, Sade, Corrine Bailey Rae, Chipmunk, Hip-Hop Pantsula, and Dizzee Rascal, who won the award for this category.
This year, BET Networks decided to surprise its audience even more by creating two separate categories for The Best International Act: recognizing Africa, and one the UK respectively.
BET International took into serious consideration some of last year’s feedback from the press and their audience who expressed that it seemed imbalanced to place all the international nominees in one category.
Lilian Blankson, Director of Programming at BET International who played an instrumental role in the selection of these artists said, “We knew this year, we could not combine a continent and a country; it wasn't really fair – we had to split up the category to pay adequate attention to the different ethnicities and styles of music.”
With so much diversity in the genre of music from Africa alone, Blankson expressed how challenging and tedious a process it was to arrive at this year’s well deserving nominees.
“It was critical that we represented some of the hippest acts out of Africa as a whole, so we made sure to have Anglophone, Francophone. and South African representation. We are really proud and happy with our final nominees for both categories and we have received really positive feedback. Though we know that we cannot please everyone, the core issue I think, is being able to pay tribute to artists from the UK and Africa, and letting them know that they are well respected for their overall accomplishments and appreciated for their contributions to the art of global music.”
It is Blankson’s personal wish that someday BET will honor more artists by having its own BET African and BET European Awards.
As we wait for that to happen, BET Networks is definitely doing a commendable job, as it is the only premier network that has recognized the importance of diversity, and consequently launched BET International to help bridge the gap between the American Entertainment Industry and the rest of the world. Since its launch in Africa, the UK, Ireland, and the Middle East, the network has opened many doors for talented African and UK entertainers who would have remained merely local artists otherwise. Thanks to BET International, they now have a global platform and opportunity to showcase and share their talent.
Face2face Africa is delighted to bring you exclusive coverage on the long journey of our African and UK artists to the BET Awards. For most of them, it is truly an opportunity of a lifetime to be recognized alongside some of the most talented artists of our generation.
“I’m honored, and sincerely grateful. To be nominated for a BET Award with just one album out is an incredible feat and from the bottom of my heart, I just want to say a massive thank you to all my fans continentally and the BET International team. Win or lose, my country Ghana, and Africa are on the map,” said D- Black, a nominee and CEO of Black Avenue Entertainment.
D'Banj, D-Black, 2Face Idibia, Teargas, and Fally Ipupa from Africa as well as Skepta, Chipmunk, and possibly a few other UK artists will all be at the Awards on June 26th.
And for the first time, an African media outlet will be on the Red Carpet! Face2face Africa will be prominently alongside the nominees capturing the historic moment of these international stars walking the Red Carpet and making their grand entrance into the Shrine Auditorium to be recognized alongside many icons.
So, stop whatever you are doing on June 26th, at 8p/7C, and tune in to the 2011 BET Awards to experience a show of a lifetime and what many have described as the HOTTEST night on television!