Silk Sonic, which is composed of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak (not pictured), won Best Group and Album of the Year on Sunday night at the 2022 BET Awards. File Photo by Sachs Pool/UPI | License Photo
June 27 (UPI) -- Silk Sonic, Kendrick Lamar and Tems took home multiple pieces of hardware during the 2022 BET Awards on Sunday night that saw big stars use their spotlight to chastise the Supreme Court over its recent decision to repeal federal abortion protections.
The annual BET Awards, held Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and was promoted as "culture's biggest night," was hosted by six-time BET award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, who opened the night following Lizzo, who performed her single "About Damn Time."
After stating they were there in celebration of Black excellence, Henson thanked Lizzo for pledging with Live Nation to donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood after the Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling.
"And you damn right, it's about damn time," Henson said in her opening monologue.
"It's about damn time we talk about the fact that guns have more rights than a woman -- It's a sad day in America," she said. "A weapon that can take lives has more power than a woman who can give life, if she chooses to."
Singer Janelle Monae, who was the next presenter, was more explicit with her condemnation as she cursed the Supreme Court and raised her middle finger to the camera.
"I known we are celebrating us right now, as we should -- we absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially now," Monae said. "We must celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths."
Monae made the comment as she introduced the nominees for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, which went to Jazmine Sullivan, who used her acceptance speech to call on men for their support.
"We need you all, we need you all to stand up, stand up for us, stand up with us," Sullivan said. "If you've ever benefitted from a woman making one of the toughest decisions of her life, which is to terminate a pregnancy, you need to be standing with us.
"This is not just a woman's issue. This is everybody's issue, and we need your support, more than ever."
Rapper Latto, who gave a surprise performance with Mariah Carey and was nominated for two awards on the night, won Best New Artist and was in tears as she accepted the hardware and thanked her mom and others for their support.
During her emotional speech, she briefly spoke on the Supreme Court ruling.
"It's pro-choice giving," she said. "It's never giving a man policing my body."
Silk Sonic, which is composed of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, won Best Group and Album of the Year for An Evening with Silk Sonic, while .Paak picked up a third trophy as Video Director of the Year.
Lamar also picked up multiple awards during the night, including Best Male Hip Hop Artist and Video of the Year for his and Baby Keem's "Family Ties."
Tems, the 27-year-old Nigerian singer, also picked up two awards for Best International Act and Best Collaboration for "Essence," with Wizkid and Justin Bieber.
Sean "Diddy" Combs, who was introduced by Kanye West, was also honored during the event with the Lifetime Achieved Award.
Other notable musical winners of the night include The Weeknd for Best Male R&B/Pop Artist and Megan Thee Stallion for Best Female Hip Hop Artist,
In film and television, Best Movie went to King Richard, Best Actor went to Will Smith for his performance in King Richard and Best Actress went to Zendaya for her performances in Euphoria and Spider-Man: No Way Home.