2020 BET Awards: Lizzo reminds us we’re all winners in inspiring acceptance speech

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Kayleigh Dray
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“As long as you’re winning in life, that’s the only trophy you need,” says Lizzo.

It came as little surprise when Lizzo, aka everyone’s favourite singing, dancing, flute-playing artist, won Best Female R&B/Pop Artist at this year’s (virtual) BET Awards.

Beating the likes of Beyoncé, H.E.R, Jhene Aiko, Kehlani, and Summer Walker to the title, Lizzo was understandably moved by her success.

“Thank you so much BET and thank you to all the wonderfully talented, beautiful Black women that I share this category with,” she said.

“Beyoncé, thank you for everything that you’ve done for Black culture.”

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Lizzo’s inspiring acceptance speech, however, made one thing abundantly clear: whether she’d taken home the trophy or not, she’d have still felt like a winner.

“I have to say that three years ago, I sat in the audience at the BET Awards and I didn’t win anything,” the musician continued.

“But I still went home and felt like a winner. “

And, recalling how she performed a medley of her hits at the 2019 BET Awards, Lizzo added: “Last year, I performed on the main stage. I didn’t win anything and still felt like a winner.”

In this screengrab, Lizzo is seen accepting her gong at the (virtual) 2020 BET Awards.
In this screengrab, Lizzo is seen accepting her gong at the (virtual) 2020 BET Awards.

Why? Well, as Lizzo powerfully explained: “This year, I have the honour of winning this prestigious award, but I will always feel like a winner.

“Because as long as you’re winning in life, that’s the only trophy you need.

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Lizzo finished: “We’re all winners, ladies, and let’s keep bigging up the culture. Because that’s what this has been about and will always be about.”

You can watch her speech in full for yourself below:

Naturally, Lizzo’s speech went down a treat on Twitter.

“AMEN!” wrote one. “Congratulations, sweetheart.”

“Congrats Lizzo, you deserve it,” added another.

And one more noted: “Well deserved, to be honest.”

Indeed, even those who were backing another singer to take the title of Best Female R&B/Pop Artist were quick to offer their congratulations.

“Damn,” one said. “I really wanted Jhene but I’m cool with Lizzo.”

The full list of BET Awards 2020 nominees and winners:

Album of the Year

  • “Cuz I Love You,” Lizzo
  • “Fever,” Megan Thee Stallion
  • “Homecoming: The Live Album,” Beyoncé
  • “I Used to Know Her,” H.E.R.
  • “Kirk, “DaBaby
  • WINNER: “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial,” Roddy Ricch 

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

  • Beyoncé
  • H.E.R.
  • Jhene Aiko
  • Kehlani
  • WINNER: Lizzo 
  • Summer Walker

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

  • Anderson .Paak
  • WINNER: Chris Brown
  • Jacquees
  • Khalid
  • The Weeknd
  • Usher

Best Group

  • Chloe x Halle
  • City Girls
  • EarthGang
  • Griselda
  • WINNER: Migos

Best Collaboration

  • WINNER: Chris Brown Ft. Drake, “No Guidance” 
  • DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend, “Higher”
  • Future ft. Drake, “Life Is Good”
  • H.E.R. ft. YG, “Slide”
  • Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Hot Girl Summer”
  • Wale ft. Jeremih, “On Chill”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

  • WINNER: DaBaby 
  • Drake
  • Future
  • Lil Baby
  • Roddy Ricch
  • Travis Scott

Best Female Hip Hop Artist

  • Cardi B
  • Doja Cat
  • Lizzo
  • WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion 
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Saweetie

Video of the Year

  • Chris Brown Ft. Drake, “No Guidance”
  • DaBaby, “Bop”
  • WINNER: DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend, “Higher” 
  • Doja Cat, “Say So”
  • Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Hot Girl Summer”
  • Roddy Ricch, “The Box”

Video Director of the Year

  • Benny Boom
  • Cole Bennett
  • Dave Meyers
  • Director X
  • Eif Rivera
  • WINNER: Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor 

Best New Artist

  • DaniLeigh
  • Lil Nas X
  • Pop Smoke
  • WINNER: Roddy Ricch 
  • Summer Walker
  • YBN Cordae

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational

  • Fred Hammond, “Alright”
  • John P. Kee ft. Zacardi Cortez, “I Made It Out”
  • Kanye West, “Follow God”
  • WINNER: Kirk Franklin, “Just for Me” 
  • PJ Morton ft. Le’Andria Johnson & Mary Mary, “All In His Pain”
  • The Clark Sisters, “Victory”

Best Movie

  • Bad Boys for Life
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Harriet
  • Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
  • Just Mercy
  • WINNER: Queen & Slim

Best Actress

  • Angela Bassett
  • Cynthia Erivo
  • WINNER: Issa Rae 
  • Regina King
  • Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Zendaya

Best Actor

  • Billy Porter
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Jamie Foxx
  • WINNER: Michael B. Jordan 
  • Omari Hardwick

Young Stars Award

  • Alex Hibbert
  • Asante Blackk
  • Jahi Di’Allo Winston
  • WINNER: Marsai Martin 
  • Miles Brown
  • Storm Reid

Sportswoman of the Year

  • Ajeé Wilson
  • Claressa Shields
  • Coco Gauff
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Serena Williams
  • WINNER: Simone Biles 

Sportsman of the Year

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • WINNER: LeBron James 
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Patrick Mahomes II
  • Stephen Curry


  • Alicia Keys, “Underdog”
  • WINNER: Beyoncé ft. Blue Ivy, WizKid & Saint Jhn, “Brown Skin Girl” 
  • Ciara ft. Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La, “Melanin”
  • Layton Greene, “I Choose”
  • Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott, “Tempo”
  • Rapsody ft. PJ Morgan, “Afeni”

Viewer’s Choice Award

  • Chris Brown Ft. Drake, “No Guidance”
  • DaBaby, “Bop”
  • Future ft. Drake, “Life Is Good”
  • WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj, “Hot Girl Summer” 
  • Roddy Ricch, “The Box”
  • The Weeknd, “Heartless”

Best International Act

  • WINNER: Burna Boy (Nigeria) 
  • Innoss’B (DRC)
  • Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
  • Dave (U.K.)
  • Stormzy (U.K.)
  • Ninho (France)
  • S.Pri Noir (France)

Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act

  • Rema (Nigeria)
  • WINNER: SHA SHA (Zimbabwe) 
  • Celeste (U.K.)
  • Young T & Bugsey (U.K.)
  • Hatik (France)
  • Stacy (France)

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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