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The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth and prison.

Mill, who was released from prison earlier this year, wore a hoodie with the image of rapper XXXTentacion, who was gunned down in Florida last week. The play-like performance showed a child being shot in street and showed several people in prison jumpsuits behind bars.

Mill is free on bond while he appeals a two-year sentence for probation violation from an old conviction for drug and weapons charges.


7:20 p.m.

R&B legend Anita Baker has urged musicians to support each other after accepting the Lifetime Achievement award during the BET Awards.

The seven-time Grammy winner was grooving along in the front row on Sunday as host Jamie Foxx, Ledisi, Yolanda Adams and Marsha Ambrosius sang her hits including "Angel," ''Caught Up In the Rapture," ''Sweet Love," and "You Bring Me Joy."

Baker asked the veteran performers in the room find new artists to support and encouraged the young artists to reach out to the veterans as well because they "can't do it alone."


6:45 p.m.

"Black Panther" is the winner of the best movie award at Sunday's BET Awards.

Director Ryan Coogler thanked fans for making the film so popular. The film was referenced repeatedly throughout the show by host Jamie Foxx, beginning with the opening segment when he handed off a black panther stuffed animal to one of the film's stars, Michael B. Jordan.

Jordan joined Coogler on stage, but handed the mic over to the director.

Coogler said the film was "trying to capture the experience of being black on this planet." He said he wanted fans to "be proud of who we are and where we came from."

The director urged the audience to visit Africa, saying his time there changed his life.


5:50 p.m.

BET Awards host Jamie Foxx says he won't make a joke about Childish Gambino's new single, "This Is America," but that didn't stop Foxx from bringing Gambino on stage during Sunday's show.

Foxx said during the show that everyone begged him to write a joke about the single, but he said that song was not to be joked about, saying the song "stopped me in my tracks."

He eventually got Gambino, aka "Atlanta" actor Donald Glover, to come up on stage and sing a few lines with him.

Glover praised one of his co-writers on "Atlanta," Lena Waithe, and Issa Rae during his time on stage.


5:15 p.m.

The BET Awards kicked off on Sunday with a tribute to "The Black Panther," during a performance of the song "Win" by Jay Rock featuring one of the stars of the Marvel film, Michael B. Jordan.

Host Jamie Foxx started the show by presenting Jordan with a stuffed panther toy and walked through the crowd greeting other artists like Childish Gambino and LL Cool J as Rock performed.

Foxx even persuaded Jordan to come up on stage to recite a line from the film.

DJ Khaled is the leading nominee with six at Sunday's show.


7:10 a.m.

Legendary singer Anita Baker will be honored at the 2018 BET Awards, which will be hosted by Jamie Foxx and feature performances by Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg and Migos.

DJ Khaled is the leading nominee with six at Sunday's show, kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Baker, who dominated the R&B charts from the early '80s to mid-90s with smooth songs like "Sweet Love" and "Giving You the Best That I Got," will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has won eight Grammy Awards.

Drake and Cardi B, who is pregnant and will not attend the show, are both nominated twice for the top prize, video of the year.

Performers include Janelle Monae, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, H.E.R., Miguel, Ella Mae and Daniel Caesar.

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