‘We love Lil Nas X,’ BET insists after musician was shut out of BET Award nominations

A man in a silver jacket and skirt singing into a microphone on a stage
Lil Nas X performs at the 2021 Jingle Ball concert in Los Angeles.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

After Lil Nas X accused BET of never really rooting for him anyway, the network released a statement Tuesday defending its values.

The Grammy-winning rapper and singer has directed a string of criticisms — and a diss track — at the media company in recent weeks after getting shut out of the BET Award nominations for the second year in a row. But BET claims the snub wasn’t intentional.

“We love Lil Nas X,” the organization said Tuesday in a statement.

“He was nominated for a Best New Artist BET Award in 2020, and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice: He performed ‘Old Town Road’ with Billy Ray Cyrus at ‘BET Awards’ 2019 and his ‘BET Awards’ 2021 performance was a highlight of our show. No one cheered louder that night than BET.”


Musicians Doja Cat, Drake and Ari Lennox are the top nominees at this year’s BET Awards. But Lil Nas X was shut out for the second year in a row.

June 1, 2022

Last year, BET invited Lil Nas X to perform his hit single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” at the BET Awards after he wasn’t nominated and fans of the trailblazing musician accused the show of homophobia. Others, such as “Pose” star Angelica Ross, have also criticized the network in the past for allegedly excluding LGBTQ people.

During his dynamic performance at the 2021 BET Awards, Lil Nas X made a powerful statement by locking lips on air with one of his masculine backup dancers.

Earlier this month, the “Industry Baby” hitmaker called the BET Awards out for snubbing him once again, tweeting, “thank you bet awards. an outstanding zero nominations ... black excellence!”

“Doesn’t even have to be me nominated,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “i just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top [they] try to pretend we are invisible.”

It’s worth noting that the genre-defying superstar collected five nominations — including nods for album, record and song of the year — at the 64th Grammy Awards after releasing his critically acclaimed debut album, “Montero.”

Lil Nas X performed his controversial hit single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on Sunday’s BET Awards.

June 27, 2021

Though Lil Nas X ended up deleting his initial Twitter remarks, he came back swinging on Tuesday with a snippet of a new song featuring the lyrics, “F— BET! F— BET!” The full version of his collaboration with rapper YB, titled “Late to Da Party,” is coming soon.


After teasing his next project, Lil Nas X declared via Twitter, “this not over,” and connected this year’s BET Award nominations to “the bigger problem of homophobia in the black community.” Hours later, BET issued its response.

“Unfortunately, this year, [Lil Nas X] was not nominated by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers, and creative arts,” BET said.

“No one from BET serves as a member of the Voting Academy. At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”

Actor Taraji P. Henson will return as host as the 2022 BET Awards will air June 26 at 8 p.m. on BET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.