If you take a quick scan of this year’s BET Awards nominees, you’ll find a list replete with all the artists you’d expect: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Usher… and then there’s the Bieber. Yep, Justin Bieber, who (as far as we know) is white, scored a nomination in the best new artist category. Typically the BET Awards honor black singers, actors and performers, but Bieber has been deemed a “cross-over artist.”
“Bieber has crossed the color boundaries the same way that hip-hop has crossed the boundaries the other way for a number of years,” said Stephen Hill, BET’s President of Music Programing and Specials. “He’s had rhythm in his music. He makes the type of music our audience likes.”
It’s a pretty savvy move: nominating Bieber is a foolproof way of ensuring your awards show will be at top of Twitter’s Trending Topics for the next month.