The 2020 BET Awards offered some inspiration in the final hour of the show on Sunday (June 28). The network delivered a virtual ceremony for the first time this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and while the reason that Black artists couldn’t celebrate at the annual event together was disappointing, Jonathan McReynolds and Kane Brown’s performances brought some light to the show.
Gospel singer McReynolds first took the stage with just an acoustic guitar, standing alone in a nearly empty auditorium as the first strains of “People” began to play. The only other people visible were his backup musicians, who played the violin in the balcony above him, and cellos behind and below him.
As the final strains of his song played and McReynolds walked away, the camera moved to Brown. The singer-songwriter performed his latest single, “Worldwide Beautiful,” from his as yet untitled upcoming album. With him on stage — though properly socially distanced — was his backup band.
While Brown’s performance looked like it could be for a live audience — completely with plenty of stage lights — the seats were empty. “You’re missing every color/ If you’re only seeing black and white/ Tell me how you’re gonna change your mind/ If your heart’s unmovable/ We ain’t that different from each other. From one to another, I look around/ And see worldwide beautiful,” crooned Brown.
Watch McReynolds and Brown’s performances below: