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, 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.


Usher accepts the Lifetime Achievement award during the BET Awards on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles. Babyface, rear left, and L.A. Reid, rear center, look on.(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Usher accepts the Lifetime Achievement award during the BET Awards on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles. Babyface, rear left, and L.A. Reid, rear center, look on.(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

He recounted walking into music mogul L.A. Reid’s office at 12 or 13 years old and telling a room for 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.”

A rebroadcast of the 2024 BET Awards will air on BET tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.