BET Apologizes to Usher for ‘Audio Malfunction’ That ‘Inadvertently Muted’ Chunks of His Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech | Video

He received the honor at Sunday’s BET Awards, where he also won Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

BET apologized to Usher on Monday for muting large portions of his Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech during Sunday’s BET Awards, blaming “an audio malfunction” and stating that it was inadvertent.

The performer delivered an emotional 13-minute speech while accepting the award. He also won Best Male R&B/Pop Artist at the ceremony.

“Celebrating global icon Usher on our stage with a star-studded tribute and having him accept his award with a heartfelt speech was an honor. Due to an audio malfunction during the LIVE telecast, portions of his speech were inadvertently muted,” a BET spokesperson said in a statement sent to TheWrap. “We extend our sincere apologies to Usher as we couldn’t be more grateful for his participation in Culture’s Biggest Night.”

BET is making the full version of Usher’s speech available both online and during Monday night’s encore presentation of the program, the network noted. “Fans can catch his full uninterrupted speech across BET platforms and tonight’s encore on BET,” a spokesperson said.

You can watch his uncensored speech in the video at the top of this story. The network hyped up Usher’s “unfiltered” approach to accepting the honor, titling the video on YouTube, “Usher Is Unfitered & Motivated While Accepting His Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The singer himself joked even as he opened his speech with his propensity to go long.

“I should caution you that I like to talk, and I have a way with words,” Usher said. “But what I will say is I didn’t write anything because I wanted this moment to be exactly what it was, present — in this moment, how I am feeling and the appreciation that I have for each and every person that had anything to do with this moment tonight, as well as the 30-plus-year career that I celebrate.”

He questioned whether it was too soon for him to accept the award — Usher started young and is still just 45 years old.

“Because I’m still running and gunning, and I still love this s–t like I did when I was 8 years old,” he said.

During the poignant address, Usher explained how he landed on his name as a performer.

“I was trying to make sense of this name that a man gave me that didn’t stick around because he didn’t love me,” Usher said. “Or at least that was my perception of it, because I had to live long enough in order to understand that you have to have a forgiving heart in order to understand the true pitfalls and hardships of a Black man in America. And my father, he was a product of that.”

As he became emotional, Usher did swear more — he acknowledged it as it happened, saying that he was sorry for cursing but wanted to express how much those who had supported him over the years meant.

He also talked about setting goals, what his mother did for him, being a parent himself and more, which you can see in the video above.

Other acts paid tribute to Usher as part of the ceremony, including Childish Gambino, Chloe, Keke Palmer, Teyana Taylor and more.


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