BET says 'audio malfunction' caused heavy censorship of Usher's speech at the 2024 BET Awards

Usher's acceptance speech of the BET Awards' lifetime achievement award was heartfelt, occasionally profane and lengthy — and few people got to hear it.

The 13-minute speech was largely censored by the network, leaving viewers at home curious to know what Usher said. A BET spokesperson told The Associated Press that “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."

A full version of the speech is now available on BET's YouTube channel and will be included in a Monday rebroadcast, with a few profanities removed. Much of his speech centered on the idea of fatherhood, forgiveness, and his three-decades' long career. It appears that the heavy censoring started shortly after Usher said “Sorry, I'm gonna curse and let you know how I really feel" early on in his acceptance.

He recounted walking into music mogul L.A. Reid's office at 12 or 13 years old and telling a room full of executives that he'd make it. “That wasn't ego speaking. I rebranded that word that day,” he said in a section of the speech that didn't air. “I rebranded that word that day. I expressed goals out loud.”

The R&B superstar is an eight-time Grammy winner who recently ended a two-year Las Vegas residency, “Usher: My Way” at the Park MGM. In February, he released his first solo album in eight years, and in August is scheduled to kick off a 24-city U.S. tour titled “Past Present Future.”

Usher’s 2024 Super Bowl halftime performance drew acclaim and included guest appearances by such stars as Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon and Ludacris. His album “Confessions” has sold more than 10 million units in the U.S., ranking it among one of the best-selling music projects of all time. It launched No. 1 hits such as “Yeah!” with Ludacris and Lil Jon, “Burn” and “Confessions Part II.”

A rebroadcast of the 2024 BET Awards aired on BET on Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern.


For more coverage of this year’s BET Awards, visit