Talk about awkward timing. At the 2013 BET Awards, Kendrick Lamar was a fair shoo-in to grab the Best New Artist trophy — which he indeed did. However, one small problem: The artist was nowhere in sight when his name was called.
Oh, he wasn't a bona fide no-show. Lamar, a confirmed performer for the evening, was just doing his job — namely, preparing for his appearance which apparently coincided closely with the New Artist Award presentation. Which means he was likely backstage and probably didn't even hear his name being called.
Which means…crickets when his name was being called.
Who put the schedule together for the evening? Uh, oh, someone's getting fired. To their credit, presenters Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union called upon their respective respected actors' skills and handled the weird moment as gracefully as possible, flashing slightly frozen grins and saying "Kendrick? Kendrick…okay, we're happy to accept the award for you." Whomp whomp.
Lamar hit the stage a mere few minutes later, launching into an energetic rendition of "m.A.A.d City" without any explanation for his absence — which proves it most assuredly must have come from ill-planned timing (who out there didn't think Lamar was going to win this award?). Sitting there and scratching our heads over whether he'd even been informed he'd won the award took a bit of the shine factor away from his special guest, Erykah Badu — who joined him as he segued into "Don't Kill My Vibe" — which was a bit of a shame.
Lamar also made no mention of the awkward moment when he did eventually give a speech later, accepting a second award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist.
The 2013 BET Awards aired live from Los Angeles June 30. Winners included Lamar, Miguel, Gabrielle Douglas, and Mary Mary.