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What To Expect At Tonight's BET Awards

Leslie Jones, the host of this year's BET Awards. (Photo by Ben Gabbe / Getty Images)
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The 2017 BET Awards take place tonight at the Microsoft Theater downtown, celebrating the best in Black excellence from the past year. Leslie Jones will be hosting the awards, with performances from A$AP Rocky, SZA, Big Sean, Future, Kamasi Washington, Lil Yachty, and more. Last year, the awards featured the onlytribute to Prince worth watching, and Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar's performance of Freedom brought America's political divide to the stage, so it's safe to say this year's performance will be equally powerful. Also, considering Beyonce is nominated for several awards, it might be the night America finally gets details on her twins straight from the source.

This year's awards will also honor Chance the Rapper with the Humanitarian Award (last year's award went to Jesse Williams) and the Lifetime Achievement Award will go to New Edition. BET's New Edition biopic The New Edition Story premiered in January to BET's highest ratings since the 2012 premiere of The Game.

The awards are an unparalleled event in Los Angeles; the Sunday night event is the capstone of the whole BET Experience, a yearly three-day festival at L.A. Live. This year, the pre-awards concerts included Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Bryson Tiller, DJ Khaled, A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Gucci Mane, Rae Sremmurd, and way too many other artists to list here. Fans had the opportunity to buy tickets to tonight's awards show as well, in case three huge concerts in a row wasn't enough. Considering most music festivals have a 5:1 ratio of beach-y shoegaze garage bands to hip hop artists, the BET Experience differentiates itself by focusing exclusively on rap, hip hop, and R&B.

The awards are also, of course, an awards show. Besides the performances and the festival, BET will hand out trophies to the winners of music, acting, and athletics categories. Here's the full list of nominees:

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Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Mary J. Blige

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Bruno Mars
Chris Brown
The Weeknd
Trey Songz

Best Group
2 Chainz & Lil Wayne
A Tribe Called Quest
Fat Joe & Remy Ma
Rae Sremmurd

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé Feat. Kendrick Lamar—Freedom
Chance The Rapper Feat. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne—No Problem
Chris Brown Feat. Gucci Mane & Usher—Party
DJ Khaled Feat. Beyoncé & Jay Z—Shining
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert—Bad and Boujee
Rae Sremmurd Feat. Gucci Mane—Black Beatles

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Big Sean
Chance The Rapper
J. Cole
Kendrick Lamar

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Cardi B
Missy Elliott
Nicki Minaj
Remy Ma
Young M.A

Video of the Year
Big Sean—Bounce Back
Bruno Mars—24k Magic
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert —Bad and Boujee
Solange—Cranes in the Sky

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom—Kehlani Crzy
Bruno Mars & Jonathan Lia —Bruno Mars That’s What I Like
Director X—Zayn Malik Like I Would
Hype Williams—Tyga Gucci Snakes Feat. Desiigner
Kahlil Joseph & Beyoncé Knowles-Carter—Beyoncé Sorry

Best New Artist
21 Savage
Cardi B
Chance the Rapper
Young M.A

Album of the Year
24k Magic - Bruno Mars
4 Your Eyez Only - J. Cole
A Seat at the Table - Solange
Coloring Book - Chance The Rapper
Lemonade - Beyoncé

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Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
CeCe Winans—Never Have to Be Alone
Fantasia Feat. Tye Tribbett—I Made It
Kirk Franklin Feat. Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs & Tamela Mann—My World Needs You
Lecrae—Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)
Tamela Mann—God Provides

Best Actress
Gabrielle Union
Issa Rae
Janelle Monáe
Taraji P. Henson
Viola Davis

Best Actor
Bryshere Y. Gray
Denzel Washington
Donald Glover
Mahershala Ali
Omari Hardwick

Youngstars Award
Ace Hunter
Caleb Mclaughlin
Jaden Smith
Marsai Martin
Yara Shahidi

Best Movie
Get Out
Hidden Figures
The Birth of a Nation

Sportswoman of the Year Award
Gabby Douglas
Serena Williams
Simone Biles
Skylar Diggins
Venus Williams

Sportsman of the Year Award
Cam Newton
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Russell Westbrook
Stephen Curry

Centric Award
Fantasia—Sleeping With the One I Love
Mary J. Blige—Thick of It
Solange—Cranes in the Sky
Syd—All About Me
Yuna—Crush Feat. Usher

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
Bruno Mars—24k Magic
Drake—Fake Love
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert—Bad and Boujee
Rae Sremmurd Feat. Gucci Mane—Black Beatles
The Weeknd Feat. Daft Punk—Starboy

Best International Act: Europe
Booba (France)
Mhd (France)
Craig David (UK)
Emeli Sandé (UK)
Giggs (UK)
Skkepta (UK)
Stormzy (UK)
Wiley (UK)

Best International Act: Africa
Aka (South Africa)
Babes Wodumo (South Africa)
Davido (Nigeria)
Nasty C (South Africa)
Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Tekno (Nigeria)
WizKid (Nigeria)
Mr Eazi (Nigeria)

The BET Awards begin at 5:30 p.m. PST and will air on BET.