Eminem was announced as one of the top performers at the 2010 BET Awards tonight. Instead, he came out as an unannounced guest halfway through Atlanta upstart B.o.B’s performance of his hit single “Airplanes.” Surprise!
“Airplanes” had already seen one line-up change for the awards broadcast, as Keyshia Cole crooned its hook instead of Paramore’s Hayley Williams. Williams does a nice job on the record, but Cole definitely added some welcome grit to the song tonight. The performance got even more compelling when Em showed up to kick his verse from bonus track “Airplanes, Part II.” As on B.o.B’s album, Eminem’s presence was a very good thing. He’s always a passionate live performer. If B.o.B got slightly upstaged during his own spotlight moment, that’s nothing to be too ashamed of.
Of course, Eminem couldn’t leave the stage without giving us a little something of his own. So after “Airplanes” landed, he transitioned seamlessly into his own smash “Not Afraid,” one of the better tunes on his mixed-bag Recovery. It was a typically focused performance, assisted by a gospel choir for that extra bit of awards-show oomph. Watching Em call out those 12-step mantras, it was clear how much he believes what he’s selling.
What did you think of Eminem’s surprise entrance and performance? Make yourselves known in the comments.
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)
More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
How will you mark the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death?
B. Rossi and Jake Troth’s “Gems & Rubies”: Sound like a hit?
Twelve unseen Michael Jackson portraits to be auctioned
Katy Perry holds No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s Hot 100