This post brought to you by Marriott International. All opinions are 100% mine.
Now that I’ve had a chance to recuperate from a star-studded 2013 BET Awards weekend, I can share a few of my favorite moments from the ground.
As many of you know, we announced our exciting partnership with Marriott, which has been facilitating a lot of events like the BET Awards with a chic, non-stop party experience.
Though I wasn’t allowed to share much live from Nokia Theatre, it was probably better that I couldn’t miss a moment by being preoccupied with Twitter and Facebook.
Both songs will appear on Chris’ forthcoming sixth studio album, X, which is out July 16, 2013. Watch the performance below.
Kendrick Lamar ft Erykah Badu
From where I sat, I could see the BET crew setting up the Compton background for Kendrick Lamar‘s set and I knew immediately that he was coming next!
When the chorus from “M.A.A.D City” began I almost jumped out of my seat, but instead sat in place, gesturing and rapping along as I’ve rehearsed so many times at home, lol.
The vocal assistance of the amazing Erykah Badu was an unexpected treat, and she had the guys drooling as she walked toward away from the stage in wearing some booty-hugging leggings.
And apparently their hand-holding has sparked rumors that the hip-hop newcomer and neo-soul empress are romantically involved. Watch the performance below.
Robin Thicke ft Pharrell Willaims and T.I.
Robin Thicke‘s sexy “Blurred Lines“ performance put the crowd in party mode, and they went especially crazy when T.I. busted out some dance moves.
The hit single will appears on blue-eyed soul crooner’s sixth studio album, also titled Blurred Lines, which is set for a July 30, 2013. Watch the performance below.
Charlie Wilson ft Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg
The tribute to Uncle Charlie was nice, but when the legend himself took the stage to perform his GAP Band hits and solo features it was the most lively moment of the entire evening!
While most of the audience wasn’t even alive when “Yearning For Your Love” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” came out, they sang every word and couldn’t remain seated.
Timberlake and Pharrell dropping out some serious vocals had the ladies swooning and screaming after every riff. Watch below.
It was hard to follow Charlie Wilson, but new gospel music sensation Tamela Mann and her single “Take Me To The King” made the auditorium swell with the Holy Ghost!
A few sang along but most sat silently, anticipating the climax and let it all sink in. It was beautiful.
The song appears on Tamela’s 2012 album, Best Days, which debuted at #14 on the US Billboard 200 and reached #1 on the Top Gospel Albums chart. Watch her performance below.
Ciara ft Nicki Minaj
When Ciara popped out of the stage like a bawse to perform her amped up woman’s anthem “I’m Out” alongside Nicki Minaj, it was time to party again.
While I’m sure viewers at home heard nothing but BLEEPS, Minaj unapologetically kept the censors busy spewing a firestorm of lyrics that seemed to impress the crowed, myself included.
Before Cici could even sing a note of “Body Party,” the ladies in the audience knew “their song” was coming.
As always, the pop princess brought it with the choreography, and hopefully sealed significant support for her forthcoming self-titled fifth studio album, out July 5, 2013. Watch the performance below.
Elephant Man and Beanie Man
As we announced before the show, we got a tip that the Caribbean would be shown some love with a performance by Elephant Man.
Though we also expected Patra and Shabba Ranks to join, they were paid tribute in a reggae/dancehall medley, where Beanie Man unexpectedly appeared.
The set had the crowd hype and it was hard to stay seated but I got my chair whine on (because my feet were done). Watch the performance below.
Screams and dancing accompanied Janelle Monae’s energetic, soulful performance of “Q.U.E.E.N,” where Badu and her big blonde ‘fro naturally assisted. “Because the booty don’t lie…”
The new song will appear on Janelle’s long-anticipated Electric Lady out September 10, 2013. Watch the performance below.
The walk down the hall to Marriot’s Diamond Ballroom felt like a music video as Love & Hip-hop Atlanta‘s Shay Johnson was taking a photo op.
Upon entering, the stylish tables full of h’orderves and desserts called my name (“snacks!”), but I decided to investigate the scene a bit further.
Toward the entrance, Marriot had a Beauty Bar set up for the ladies to get free makeovers or freshen up, and a shoe shine area for the gents.
There were at least three comp’d bars set up, which kept drinks flowing with very little wait time. And most attendees were chowing down at chic cocktail tables and bar chairs back by BET Network pillows.
As celebs and other party go-ers started to file in, the dancefloor started to fill up as the DJ spun a lot of oldies but goodies and ventured into new tunes as well.
At one point, it took me a minute to realize that not only was a Debarge song playing, but that El Debarge himself was center of attention.
The legend was getting his dance on, which he’d do for most of the evening, even pulling BET’s Debra Lee onto the floor. And Elephant Man was also going HAM all night, grinding up against a lady friend.
They all out lasted me as I made my way back to my room and noticed the fan-filled party in the hotel lobby was just getting started.