For one night only, BET brought all the music we’ve been loving on Instagram Live onto a slightly bigger screen. Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Chloe X Halle, Swae Lee, Fantasia, Tyrese, Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, and more joined Anthony Anderson, Tiffany Haddish, Diddy, Fat Joe, Queen Latifah, NeNe Leakes, and even more on top of that for BET’s Saving OurSelves COVID-19 Relief Effort. The talent showed out for this stream, presumably because everyone is just sitting at home. Tuned in from wherever they’re quarantined, the singers, actors, and comedians did their best to spread joy in these uncertain times and to help provide financial, educational, and community resources for black people. Here are some of the best moments from BET’s Saving OurSelves special, which you can still catch up on.
Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Tyrese, Le’Andria Johnson, Melvin Crispell III, and more kicked off the show with a new rendition of “I Smile” that’ll make you go “Okay!” Can we just have a moment of appreciation for Fantasia reading the lyrics off her phone? She’s here to get it right and get it done, and we respect it.
You know Uncle Charlie had to have a whole production. This man has aerial shots, a stabilizer, pans, props, and a video vixen (his wife of 25 years, Mahin Wilson). The mini-tour of his backyard is what Drake’s “Toosie Slide” video wishes it was. Later, clips of NeNe Leakes, LeToya Luckett, and more pop in.
New Yorkers are in the house. Fat Joe, Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifah, P. Diddy, Remy Ma, Papoose, and more sent heartfelt shout-outs to embattled New York City and its medical professionals, while Alicia Keys did that piano-talking thing she loves to do and sang “Empire State of Mind.”
This isn’t a stunning display of vocal talent, but everyone needs to see the moment Regina Hall removed her full face mask from her head, joking that she couldn’t find wig glue. It’s not her fault beauty-supply stores aren’t essential businesses.
Okay, after all the parents went to bed, the new generation did its thing. Chloe X Halle performed “Catch Up” with Swae Lee and you know the vibes were immaculate.
Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, and Usher got everyone on their feet with a little dance break during “Don’t Waste My Time.” Gotta stay active, y’all.
John Legend’s production value, from his first Instagram Live with Chrissy Teigen to now, has really skyrocketed. The man has background dancers now! And a wig budget! (“This may or may not be my real hair after not seeing my barber for 6 weeks,” he joked on Twitter.) But it was all worth it to pull off what Anthony Anderson called “the world’s first-ever virtual Soul Train line.” Hey, it doesn’t have to be the first to be iconic.