BET Issues Apology to Usher for Speech Muting Due to ‘Audio Malfunction’

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Usher’s acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards was marked by both celebration and technical difficulties, as portions of his impassioned 13-minute speech were inadvertently muted due to an “audio malfunction.”

The ceremony, held at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, honored Usher for his three-decade-long career in music. The tribute included performances by a lineup of young artists such as Teyana Taylor, Keke Palmer, Childish Gambino, Chloe Bailey, Coco Jones, Tinashe, Summer Walker, Latto, and Marsha Ambrosius, who paid homage by performing Usher’s iconic songs.

In his unrehearsed acceptance speech, Usher became emotional and at times passionate, prompting him to use strong language that was subsequently muted. He spoke candidly about his journey in the music industry, reflecting on personal challenges and highlighting the influential figures who supported him, including Babyface, L.A. Reid, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupri, and others.

BET issued an apology to Usher for the technical mishap, acknowledging the disruption to his speech during the live broadcast. A spokesperson expressed regret for the incident, emphasizing their gratitude for Usher’s participation in what they described as “culture’s biggest night.” They assured fans that the full, uninterrupted speech would be available across BET platforms and during the evening’s encore presentation.

Throughout his speech, Usher shared poignant moments, including reflections on forgiveness and resilience. He encouraged the audience to embrace forgiveness as a transformative act, drawing on personal experiences of overcoming adversity. Usher’s message resonated with the crowd, who responded with cheers and applause as he emphasized the power of personal growth and perseverance.

“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. We extend our sincere apologies to Usher as we couldn’t be more grateful for his participation in culture’s biggest night,” a BET spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Fans can catch his full uninterrupted speech across BET platforms and tonight’s encore on BET.”

The BET Awards, known for celebrating Black excellence in music, entertainment, and culture, has become a significant event in the industry. It showcases performances and honors artists who have made substantial contributions to their respective fields. The annual ceremony also serves as a platform for addressing social issues and promoting diversity within the entertainment industry.


Usher’s recognition at this year’s BET Awards underscored his enduring influence on contemporary music and his status as a global icon. Despite the technical hiccup, his acceptance speech resonated with authenticity and received widespread acclaim from both attendees and viewers.

As BET continues to highlight achievements in Black culture through events like the BET Awards, it remains committed to honoring artists like Usher who have left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape.

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