BET Awards Apologizes to Usher Over ‘Audio Malfunction’ That Muted Parts of His Speech

Though the BET Awards largely went off without a hitch on Sunday night (June 30), there was one blip in the broadcast. As Usher accepted the network’s lifetime achievement award, parts of his passionate, 12-minute speech were inaudible to viewers at home.


BET issued an apology to the eight-time Grammy winner on Monday (July 1), explaining that technical difficulties caused the breaches. “Due to an audio malfunction during the LIVE telecast, portions of his speech were inadvertently muted,” a spokesperson for the company told Billboard via statement.

“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,” the rep added, noting that the star’s uninterrupted speech is now available to watch on BET platforms. “We extend our sincere apologies to USHER as we couldn’t be more grateful for his participation in Culture’s Biggest Night.”

About four minutes of Usher’s acceptance were blocked out during the broadcast. The technical difficulties came just after he thanked Terry Lewis, Babyface, L.A. Reid and Jimmy Jam for being “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.”

The R&B icon’s use of the word “f–k” was censored, but a subsequent “s–t” was not. That’s when the sound dropped out completely, cutting in and out for the next four minutes and causing some to wonder about the content of his speech; however, a Billboard reporter inside the awards show confirmed that Usher barely swore throughout his time on stage and that his remarks didn’t contain any salacious subject matter.

“It is 100% all about my children and making certain that you understand that your dreams can come true if you truly committed, if you are committed to it, if you’re dedicated to something and you find passion and you stay committed to it, this could potentially be you,” he said once the sound was restored. “This could be your moment.”

Watch Usher’s full speech at the BET Awards below:

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