By Olu Alemoru, Staff Writer
It may be fitting that with the swearing-in of break-dancing Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti on the steps of City Hall Sunday evening that the crème de la crème of Black entertainment culture also descends on the entertainment capital for the three-day BET Experience this weekend.
The glitzy extravaganza — a hook up with AEG’s $2.5 billion L.A. Live complex — will see Beyoncé kicking off her world tour Friday at Staples Center, Saturday concerts by Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, and climaxing with the BET Awards live broadcast (hosted by Chris Tucker) from the L.A. Live Nokia Theatre on Sunday.
Some of the nominees include Chris Brown (Best Male R&B Artist), Nicki Minaj (Best Female Hip-Hop Artist), Drake (Best Male Hip-Hop Artist), Tamar Braxton (Best Female R&B Artist), Halle Berry (Best Actress), Jamie Foxx (Best Actor) and Marvin Sapp (Best gospel Artist).
Soul icon Charlie Wilson will be honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award and three-time NBA champ Dwayne Wade is this year’s BET Humanitarian Award recipient.
In addition to the award show, concerts and comedy performances, the three-day weekend will also feature 106 & Park Live, a BET Fan Fest, film screenings and a BET Grammy Museum exhibit.
The star wattage and bright lights of the L.A. Live complex is shaping up to make the annual Shrine pilgrimage look like a stately affair and give the BET networks a huge audience boost.
“This year there’s more than just the awards,” said BET President Steven Hill, announcing the nominees May 14 at Nokia L.A. Live. “They will be but a crowning jewel in what’s going to be a colossal, humungous, epic series of events and concerts. The Black Super Bowl we call it; the BET Awards 2013.”
Meanwhile, Tucker entertained the assembled media by evoking the BET Experience’s slogan “Anything Can Happen.”
“I might not even show up,” he joked.