The 16th annual BET Awards aired live Sunday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and actor Samuel L. Jackson said God was to be thanked first for his lifetime of achievements.
The show, which is meant to honors artists, actors and athletes across 20 categories for their impact on black entertainment, awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to the veteran actor who has become the face of Marvel's character Nick Fury. The night also featured tributes to Prince and a surprise performance by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar. Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams also delivered a passionate Black Lives Matter speech after winning the Humanitarian Award.
When Jackson received the Lifetime Achievement Award, he spoke directly to the audience.
"It's sort of exciting, I never get nervous, and I can hear my voice shaking and it's strange to hear myself sound that way. But it's been a great ride getting here, as there are a couple people very instrumental in that," he said in his acceptance speech. "First I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity even in the beginning. A young man who grew up in a segregated Tennessee, nobody told me I could be this. So, here I am, and here you are. Thank God for that."
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