‘Whatever, I Can’t See the Words’: Patti LaBelle Stumbles During Tina Turner Tribute and Six Other Blackity Black Moments from the 2023 BET Awards

The 2023 BET Awards did not disappoint in celebrating Black excellence in music, videography, sports and more.

The annual ceremony aired live on June 25 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This year’s show not only highlighted the culture’s shining stars, but also the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with musical medleys curated by “Sucka Free” emcee and DJ Kid Capri. 

While attempting to sing Turner's hit song "The Best," LaBelle struggled to see the Teleprompter, causing her to freestyle Turner’s lyrics and tell the audience
While attempting to sing Tina Turner’s hit song “The Best,” Patti LaBelle struggled to see the Teleprompter, causing her to freestyle Turner’s lyrics and tell the audience.

Winners in categories such as Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Best Male/Female Hip-Hop Artist created buzz online, what really has people talking is all of the head-turning moments that took place throughout the culture’s big night. Revisit a few of the ceremony highlights below.

Teyana Taylor gives FaceTime acceptance speech

Teyana Taylor has been forging a new path with her creative endeavors since announcing her retirement from singing in 2020. During the BET Awards she won Video Director of the Year, cementing her place as a visionary in the industry.

The “Rose in Harlem” artist was not on hand to accept her award, so her mother, Nikki Taylor, accepted it on her behalf. While on stage, Nikki Taylor called Teyana on FaceTime to give her a chance to deliver her own speech. “This is her night. I’m gonna let her have her night. I’m calling her right now. Sorry BET,” said Nikki.

However, the celebratory moment was interrupted by a poor internet connection, which made it impossible to hear all of the thanks she expressed. She addressed the awkward moment on Twitter.

She wrote, “Either this wifi in Paris is whooping my ass or the venue at the awards was whooping all our asses Either way, Thank you Father God & Thank you all for the love. AunTEY loves yalll #BETAwards #Directoroftheyear

Patti LaBelle forgets lyrics

Legendary vocalist Patti LaBelle was on hand to perform a medley of songs in tribute to the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner. Turner, 83, passed away on May 24 after suffering from a long bout with illness.

Ahead of the show, LaBelle praised the global superstar for being a trailblazer. “I am honored that I am able to pay tribute to her in this way,” she told Rolling Stone. BET promised that the performance would be “extraordinary,” and it was, but for reasons they did not anticipate.

While attempting to sing Turner’s hit song “The Best,” LaBelle struggled to see the Teleprompter, causing her to freestyle Turner’s lyrics and tell the audience, “Whatever, I can’t see the words; I don’t know. I’m trying, y’all.” A video shared online revealed that the Teleprompter was blocked by a section of the audience.

Boosie Badazz hits the floor

Boosie Badazz was thrilled to be back outside after spending a short stint in a San Diego jail in connection with a gun possession charge. Days after being released on a $100,000 bond, he secured tickets to the BET Awards. Clips of him in the audience show he was hyped the entire night.

But things seemed to have taken a hilarious downward turn when his dance moves landed him on the floor during Latto’s performance of “Put In On Da Floor.” “@latto777 got me to hype I CUT UP BAD N BUST MY ASS IM VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE #migobaby FLETCHER HATCH,” he wrote in an Instagram post.


JT and Lil Uzi Vert have reported lovers’ quarrel

JT and Lil Uzi Vert sparked a social media frenzy when video of a supposed lovers’ quarrel that took place in the audience appeared online. The two, who have been together since late 2019, were seen in a heated exchange when the City Girls rapper threw her phone at Uzi.

The viral moment has spurred a flurry of reactions from fans.

Coi Leray pays tribute to female emcees

Up-and-coming rapper Coi Leray garnered praise when she appeared on stage as part of the musical tribute to Busta Rhymes. Rhymes was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award after Leray and others ran through some of his biggest hits.

Leray made certain to shine the light on the women of hip-hop with her outfit, which had names like Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah and Cardi B stamped on her white pants and matching jacket.


Quavo and Offset reunite for Migos performance

Migos rappers Quavo and Offset marked their first onstage reunion since last year to pay tribute to their slain group member, Takeoff. The late rapper was fatally wounded in November 2022 while attending a private party in Houston, Texas.

They performed their 2016 hit “Bad and Boujee.” Nods to their third member were reflected in the silhouette of a rocket. In 2022, the trio disbanded due to unspecified turmoil. Quavo and Takeoff went on to form the rap duo Unc and Phew, and Offset has embarked on a solo career.

The remaining members reunited for the first time in months when they celebrated what would have been Takeoff’s 29th birthday on June 18.

Sexy Red and Chrisean twerk

“Pound Town” rapper Sexyy Red and reality personality Chrisean Rock kicked off their shows to have a good time. Footage of the two friends shows them in the aisle of the theater twerking.

Chrisean is currently pregnant with her and rapper Blueface’s first child together, but her growing belly did not hinder her ability to have fun.

Back to top