Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort to include participation from Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, Regina Hall, DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin and more

April 8, 2020

Updated April 17, 2020

The following is a press release from BET:

BET announces an array of high impact initiatives to support communities of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis.

These initiatives include the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special; the creation of a relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to assist people of color most impacted by this health and financial crisis, and our support of the NAACP’s Town Hall Series.

For 40 years, BET has been rooted in a legacy of helping afflicted communities of color, raising $12 million for Katrina victims and millions more for Haiti earthquake victims.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BET will use their global platform to provide critical educational and financial resources directly related to the African American community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is savagely compounding the profound health and financial vulnerabilities many Black Americans face. Every day, there are new reports of how this pandemic is killing African Americans at much higher rates than other communities.” said Scott Mills, President of BET.  “BET is using all of our resources – our capital, our media platforms, our relationships with the creative community, sponsors, businesses and charitable organizations to support our community in this time of crisis.”

The “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special, will air on Wednesday, April 22nd at 8 pm EST. The special, co-hosted by Grammy Award-Winning singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J, and actress Regina Hall; will feature virtual appearances and musical performances from some of the biggest names in music and entertainment as they share tips on how to manage, cope and help during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Celebrity guest appearances and performances will include DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Melvin Crispell III, and many more. The special will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources during this unprecedented time.  In partnership with United Way, proceeds are being donated to African American communities severely impacted by COVID-19.

“Our goal for this special is to come together in a collective spirit of strength, community and hope. As we unite in harmony and compassion, through the collective healing power of music, comedy and entertainment, we can bring restoration and inspire the world that our brighter days are ahead,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET.

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET  will serve as Executive Producer for the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

To support these initiatives, BET has established a COVID-19 relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support African Americans that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  United Way, the largest private funder of human services in the U.S., has a presence in 95% of communities across the country, and has, for more than 130 years, mobilized the caring power of the community to advance the common good. United Way is unparalleled in its power to convene local partners, providers and resources to address the needs of vulnerable communities on the ground.

Financial donations from the joint fund will allow United Way to disburse resources to local organizations under United Ways in New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, regions that have been most impacted by this crisis.  There are long-term plans to expand these resources to other markets going forward.  In particular, United Way will be supporting families in crisis who are experiencing food insecurity and are in need of emergency assistance.

“United Way is deeply embedded in communities across our country, and our ‘local-ness’ means we know the needs on the ground and how to get the right kind of help to those who need it most,” said Stan Little, Chief Experience Officer of United Way. “We look forward to partnering with BET to bring much-needed relief and long-term recovery to already vulnerable communities that are being hit especially hard because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BET is also providing resources and content on COVID-19 across multiple digital platforms including a four-part virtual town hall series in partnership with the NAACP.  On Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, “Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET” will stream on NAACP.org and focus on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable. Additionally, BET.com is reporting daily on what the African American community needs to know about COVID-19, and how it is impacting our lives.

You can donate to the fund beginning Friday, April 10th.  More information on BET’s partnership with UWW and additional extensions of our relief efforts are forthcoming. For further details, please visit BET.com.

April 17, 2020 UPDATE

Anthony Anderson (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)

Today BET announces comedian and actor Anthony Anderson as the fourth host of the upcoming “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” special.  Anderson joins stars Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as host for the two-hour special broadcast. “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” is set to air on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EST.

Performances include Alicia Keys with a special tribute to New York City, and a Gospel moment with Kirk Franklin featuring Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, and Melvin Crispell III.  Exclusive performances by John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR, D Smoke, and Charlie Wilson.

Additional celebrity guest appearances will include Tiffany Haddish, Idris Elba, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Mike Epps, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper.

Expanding the reach of the telecast, BET will simulcast the special across BET and BET Her domestically, as well as their channels internationally bringing awareness to over 90 million homes.  Additionally, BET will join forces with Bounce to help expand the audience to include free, over-the-air broadcast viewers with Bounce simulcasting “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”

About BET

BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About NAACP
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at naacp.org.

2019 Grammy Awards: Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Dua Lipa, tributes to Aretha Franklin and Dolly Parton added to lineup

February 6, 2019

by Carla Hay

Grammy Awards

Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, Chloe x Halle and tributes to Aretha Franklin and Dolly Parton have been added to the performing lineup at the 61st Grammy Awards, which will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019. As previously announced, Alicia Keys is hosting the show, which will have its U.S. telecast on CBS.

Previously announced artists include Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, H.E.R., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Diana Ross.

[February 7, 2019 UPDATE: The following entertainers will be presenters at the 61st Grammy Awards: Kelsea Ballerini, Leon Bridges, Luke Combs, Charlie Wilson, Alessia Cara, Julian Edelman, Eve, John Mayer, Bob Newhart, Smokey Robinson, Swizz Beatz, Meghan Trainor, Kane Brown, BTS, Cedric The Entertainer, Nina Dobrev, Anna Kendrick, Jada Pinkett Smith and Wilmer Valderrama.]

Lady Gaga will perform “Shallow” (from the 2018 “A Star is Born” movie soundtrack) with Mark Ronson, who wrote “Shallow” with Lady Gaga, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt. “Shallow” is nominated for four Grammys, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The Grammy Awards take place on the same night as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, where Lady Gaga is nominated for Best Actress and Best  Music for “A Star Is Born.” By choosing to attend the Grammys instead, it’s clear that Lady Gaga is going to the ceremony where she thinks she has the better chance of winning more awards.

Meanwhile, on-stage collaborations at the 2019 Grammys have been announced: Cabello will be joined by J Balvin, Young Thug, Ricky Martin and Arturo Sandoval for her performance. Female singers Dua Lipa and St. Vincent will team up for their Grammy performance.

One artist who won’t be performing at the Grammys this year is Ariana Grande, who is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album (“Sweetener”) and Best Pop Solo Performance (“God Is a Woman”). According to Variety, Grande canceled her performance and will not be attending the show because of a dispute over which songs she could sing at the Grammys. She had been set to do a medley of two songs, and reportedly had to fight the show’s producers to perform her current single “7 Rings,” but ultimately quit when the producers would not allow her to choose the second song.

The 61st Grammy Awards show is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for the Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Ben Winston is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, Chantel Sausedo is the producer, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers.

In 2018, the Recording Academy received an enormous amount of backlash for having a male-dominated Grammy ceremony, which led to the social-media hashtag #GrammysSoMale. That year, the overwhelming number of Grammy nominees and winners were male, and the only artist with an Album of the Year nomination who was not invited to perform solo on the show was female singer Lorde. (Lorde attended the ceremony but did not perform.) In 2019, the Recording Academy has taken big steps to have more women on the Grammys stage. Keys is one of the few women who have hosted the Grammy ceremony. And three of the biggest tributes at the 2019 Grammys will be to women, while prominent on-stage collaborations will feature women.

Diva Tributes

Aretha Franklin at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Fall Gala at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on November 7, 2017. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Franklin, who died in of pancreatic cancer in August 2018, will have a special tribute at the Grammy Awards with performances by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day. A separate all-star tribute to Franklin (“Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul”) will take place on January 13 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Tyler Perry is hosting that separate tribute concert, which will include performances by Adams, Shirley Caesar, Alessia Cara, Kelly Clarkson, Common, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Keys, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, BeBe Winans, Carlile, Chloe x Halle, H.E.R., Monáe and SZA. CBS will televise the concert on March 10, 2019.

Parton, who is MusiCares’ 2019 Person of the Year, will perform a song from the “Dumplin'” movie soundtrack. As part of the Grammy Awards tribute, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Musgraves and Perry will perform some of Parton’s songs. This will be the second tribute to Parton in two days. On February 8, Parton’s MusiCares Person of the Year concert (which is not televised) will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with performances by Parton, Cyrus, Perry, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Leon Bridges, Lauren Daigle, Norah Jones, Mendes, Pink, Ronson, Chris Stapleton, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Linda Perry and Mavis Staples.

As previously reported, Ross is celebrating her 75th birthday this year with a “Diamond Diana” performance at the Grammys. The performance is expected to be a medley of some of her hit songs. Ross will also be a performer at “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration,” an all-star concert for Motown’s 60th anniversary that will be filmed for CBS at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on January 12, 2019. Other “Motown 60” performers include Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men, Chloe x Halle, Ciara, Lamont Dozier, Fantasia, Brian & Eddie Holland, Thelma Houston, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Little Big Town, Ne-Yo, Pentatonix, Martha Reeves, Valerie Simpson, Mickey Stevenson, Meghan Trainor and Stevie Wonder.  Cedric the Entertainer is hosting the show, which CBS will premiere on April 21.

Performers Nominated for Grammys This Year

It’s a tradition for most of the artists performing at a Grammy Awards ceremony are those who are nominated for Grammys that year. Most of the aforementioned artists have Grammy nominations in 2019. Cabello, Carlile and Mendes will be performing at the Grammy Awards for the first time.

Balvin is up for Record Of The Year for “I Like It,” his collaboration with Cardi B and Bad Bunny.

Cabello’s Grammy nominations this year are for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Havana [Live]” and Best Pop Vocal Album for her solo debut album, “Camila.” Cabello is a former member of Fifth Harmony.

Cardi B has five Grammy nominations this year. Her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” is up for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album; “Girls Like You,” her her hit collaboration with Maroon 5, is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance; her song “I Like It” is one of the contenders for Record of the Year; and her song “Be Careful” is up for Best Rap Performance.

Carlile is nominated for six Grammys: Her song “The Joke” is up for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song, while her album “By the Way, I Forgive You” is a contender for Album of the Year and Best Americana Album.

Chloe x Halle are nominated for Best New Artist and Best Urban Contemporary Album (for “The Kids Are Alright”).

Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

H.E.R. is one of the nominees for Best New Artist, while her self-titled album is up for Album of the Year and Best R&B Album. She also nominated for Best R&B Performance (for “Best Part”) and Best R&B Song (for “Focus”).

Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” is nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media, while her song “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)” is nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance.

Lipa is nominated for Best Dance Recording (for “Electricity”) and Best New Artist.

Malone has four Grammy nominations: Album of the Year (for “Beerbongs & Bentleys“); his “Better Now” single is up for Best Pop Solo Performance; and his “Rockstar” collaboration with 21 Savage is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

Mendes’ self titled album is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, while his single “In My Blood” is a contender for Song of the Year.

Monáe has two Grammy nominations this year: “Dirty Computer” is up for Album of the Year, while she has a Best Music Video nod for “PYNK.”

Morris is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (for “The Middle,” her collaboration with Zedd and Grey); Best Country Solo Performance (for “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”); and Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song (for “Dear Hate,” featuring Vince Gill).

Musgraves received four Grammy nominations this year: “Golden Hour” is up for Album of the Year and Best Country Album; “Butterflies” is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance; and “Space Cowboy” is a contender for Best Country Song.

Ronson has three nominations: Best Dance Recording (for “Electricity,” Dua Lipa’s collaboration with Silk City’s Ronson and Diplo) while “Shallow” is up for Song of the Year and Best Song Written For Visual Media.

Scott is up for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Sicko Mode,” as well as Best Rap Album for “Astroworld.”

St. Vincent is nominated for Best Rock Song (for “Masseduction”) and Best Alternative Music Album (for “Masseduction”).

Young Thug is nominated for Song of the Year for “This Is America,” which he co-wrote with Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) and Ludwig Göransson.