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How BET pulled off the awards show we all needed

June 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The BET Awards have always showcased Black America's entertainment and culture, but, amid a global pandemic and racial justice movement, this year was different.

(CNN)The BET Awards have always showcased Black America's entertainment and culture, but, amid a global pandemic and racial justice movement, this year was different.

Jesse Collins served as executive producer for Sunday's BET Awards, held virtually due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Opening with a rousing remix of the Public Enemy hit "Fight the Power and ending with a moving rendition of "Something Has to Break" from gospel artists Kierra Sheard and Karen Clark-Sheard, the BET Awards hit a note for every mood suited to the times in which we are living.

Collins told CNN the poignancy was purposeful, but exceeded even his expectations.

"Everybody in their own creative way made a statement," said Collins.

Collins, who is also founder and chief executive officer of Jesse Collins Entertainment, said there was collaboration between the artists and the show to produce resonant performances.

Rapper Da Baby's statement was an overt critique of police brutality, reenacting the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police during his performance of "Rockstar," featuring Roddy Ricch.

Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Alicia Keys also offered emotional performances reflective of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Collins said the goal was to "lean in. "

"Lean in, make the statement and let's find creative ways to do it throughout the night," he said.

Collins said they began thinking about creative solutions to the production challenges caused by the pandemic months ago.

While Collins said he loves "the energy of a live show," the pre-produced format worked.

"When in doubt, do what Beyoncé says," Collins joked.

"It's really a good way to live your life. "

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