BET Awards: Why Usher’s Lifetime Achievement Speech Was Muted for Several Minutes

BET is apologizing to R&B singer Usher after accidentally muting a portion of his Lifetime Achievement award acceptance speech during Sunday’s live BET Awards telecast.

“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,” a BET spokesperson tells TVLine. “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. Fans can catch his full uninterrupted speech across BET platforms and tonight’s encore on BET.”

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Accepting this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Usher spoke for some 13 minutes, though about four minutes in, the audio started cutting in and out — and then dropped off entirely for about five straight minutes. (Watch the speech in question above.)

Early on in his speech, Usher dropped one unbleeped curse, saying, “I don’t know, man — is it too early for me to receive it? Because I’m still running and gunning, and I still love this s–t like I did when I was eight years old.”

When he soon after that turned to give props to Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, L.A. Reid and Babyface standing beside him on-stage, Usher got more frank with his words, though apologetically.

“This is my village, these are the men who motivated me, who speak to me, who have spoken to me, who have been solid no matter how f–ked up it may have been,” he said, quickly adding: “I’m sorry, I’m cursing to let you know how I really feel.”

Usher went on to say of those who have stood by him, “at one point it got really thick, and motherf–kers wouldn’t f–k with it. And I I get it. I understand. Sometimes you gotta go through some s–t to get to something.” Gesturing again at Jimmy Jam & Co, he said, “They solid, and it ain’t about a motherf–king hit record.”

It was then that the audio cut out for several minutes straight, returning in time for Usher speaking about his children, two of whom were seated in the front row, followed by his closing four minutes or so.

Did you catch Usher’s speech live? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

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