From a Tina Turner-inspired look to a Beyoncé tribute, Hollywood's biggest stars went all out for the annual awards show honoring Black entertainers

By Hanna Flanagan
June 28, 2021 12:44 PM
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BET AWARDS TOUT
Credit: Getty (3)

The 2021 BET Awards — which honors Black individuals' achievements in music over the past year — aired live on Sunday from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by Taraji P. Henson, the show featured performances by MigosAndra DayH.E.R., DaBaby, DJ Khaled and more. And whether on-stage or on the carpet, guests were dressed to impress. Stars (including Henson and Zendaya) channeled music icons while others dared to bare (we see that slit, Megan Thee Stallion!). Below, catch up on all the must-see looks we can't stop talking about.

Taraji P. Henson

The BET Awards host made a grand entrance in a super sexy Versace gown featuring the brand's signature print and curve-hugging silhouette. Styled by Jason Bolden, the colorful look featured a bralette and skirt with a thigh-high slit over a sheer black bodysuit with shimmery panels. She teamed the ensemble with sky-high black heels and her longest, sleekest hairstyle ever. "That's all," Bolden captioned a photo of Henson on Instagram.

BET Arrivals - Taraji p. henson
Taraji P. Henson
| Credit: Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Like any good awards show host, the Empire star dazzled us with several outfit changes that paid homage to Black female icons including Diana Ross, Erykah Badu, Tina Turner and H.E.R.

Taraji P. Henson speaks onstage at the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021
Credit: Getty (4)

Throughout the night, she rocked a gold lamé jumpsuit with matching cape from Greta Constantine, a Zuhair Murad ruby sequin fringe dress with structured shoulders, a sequin catsuit, a strapless Greta Constantine mini, a long-sleeve black sequin Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini dress and many more.

"I think we clocked about 12 or 13 [outfits]," Henson told PeopleTV of the number of looks she wore. "Five are me giving roses to women that are my 'sheroes.' So, I'm honoring five women that I've chosen; I'm going to be dressed like them."

Lil Nas X

BET Arrivals - Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X
| Credit: Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Before taking the BET Awards stage to perform "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," the singer walked the red carpet in not one, but two show-stopping looks. The first was a sequin-embellished rose-printed Richard Quinn suit. The second? A toile-inspired ensemble by Andrea Grossi covered in historical illustrations that seemed to symbolized war and religion.

Cardi B

Cardi B BET Awards
Cardi B and Offset
| Credit: Johnny Nunez/Getty

The rapper wore a custom embroidered Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit with a sheer panel in the abdomen to reveal her pregnant belly while performing with husband Offset and his group Migos. Stylist Kollin Carter gave a behind-the-scenes look at the ensemble, which also included matching leggings and shoes.

Zendaya

The Euphoria star paid tribute to Beyoncé wearing a lengthened version of the Versace dress Queen Bey wore for her iconic 2003 BET Awards performance of "Crazy in Love." Zendaya paired her violet confection with custom-dyed Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals, Bulgari yellow diamonds and a sleek low pony.

Zendaya
Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty

Beyoncé, just 22 at the time, famously wore a mini version of the Spring/Summer 2003 Versace runway fave to hit the stage with then-boyfriend JAY-Z. It was the day her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, dropped, and her Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams were in the BET Awards crowd cheering her on.

Megan Thee Stallion

BET Arrivals - Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion
| Credit: Rich Fury/Getty

The rapper gave us her version of Greek Goddess on the red carpet, posing in a custom Jean Paul Gaultier flowy white gown that featured the French fashion house's iconic cone bra design and bedazzled chain detailing. The risqué cut took sexy slits to a new level, creating an awards show fashion moment we won't forget.

Listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on 2021 BET Awards.

Inside, the star changed into a custom Roberto Cavalli white gown with feather and sequin embellishments — and more sexy slits and cutouts! — before accepting four BET Awards.

Best Female Hip Hop Artist award winner Megan Thee Stallion poses at the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty

Lil' Kim

Lil' Kim attends the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty

The rapper's all-white Prada ensemble included a miniskirt and a halter crop top with an attached hood. She accessorized with a floor-length coat styled off-the-shoulders, chunky combat boots, fanny pack and the brand's triangle logo pinned to her blonde bangs.