This past week just whizzed by me in a total blur. I’m now playing catch up from all the fun I had. I can blame it all on the fabulous weekend I enjoyed in Los Angeles. Thanks to my friends at GM and Cadillac, I returned to the BET Awards for the second year in a row. This time around might have been even more fun than last year! The BET Awards stepped up their game all the way, and the new venue added a lot to the experience. Come with me into my BET Awards 2013 experience, AKA #CadillacBET on Twitter!
Last week Cadillac whisked me out to Los Angeles, to the fabulous London Hotel in West Hollywood. The London Hotel is one of my favorite hotels to stay in. It’s luxurious, the rooms are incredibly spacious, and you’re in a great location for getting around L.A. Plus, every time I’ve been there I’ve seen celebrities staying there as well. Last year, Rick Ross and his entourage turned the hotel lobby into a photoshoot playground. This year, I spotted Brandy, and Akon was staying right up the hall! So random and funny to wind up sharing an elevator with a singer you’re so familiar with.
This year I attended Cadillac’s special media events with an all star collection of new and old friends. I had an absolute blast with Christen of Divas and Dorks (@DivasAndDorks), Amy Barnett of Ebony Magazine (@AmyDBarnett), Munson Steed of Rolling Out Magazine (@MunsonSteed), and renowned gossip columnist Flo Anthony (@BananaNoseKid). The lovely lady in pink that you see above is GM’s own Jocelyn Allen – communications expert and incredible host. And the lovely lady in that fun, frilly beige dress is Crystal Wilson of GM. Thank you ladies for taking such amazing care of us all weekend long!
The festivities began with Cadillac Conversations, a media brunch and discussion where we learned a lot about Cadillac as a brand, GM’s charitable and giving efforts, and the diversity within the company itself. I got to spend some quality time with Don Butler, VP for Strategic Development for Cadillac, and the man behind global strategy and international market development. Don grew up in Mississippi, and remembers picking cotton and milking cows as a kid. Now his life entails regular trips to places like Shanghai and Dubai, as he helps to grow Cadillac from a beloved American brand into an admired international brand.
I also spent some time with the elegant and glamorous Vivian Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation and Director of Corporate Relations. She’s so inspiring!
After Cadillac Conversations and a lovely brunch at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at The London, it was time to get ready for the BET Awards PRE dinner.
I wore a beautiful one shouldered peacock dress by Chicago’s own Chocolate Sushi Couture. And my dear friend, one of Chicago’s best stylists Aramide Esubi AKA The Sassy Peach, came through to help me put the rest of my look together.
My favorite Los Angeles makeup artist, Nicole Evans, came through to make sure I looked red carpet ready!
Despite the heat, this look lasted. Nicole, you are everything!
Cadillac is one of the title sponsors of BET Awards weekend, and part of the most intimate and special part of the weekend is the BET PRE Awards dinner – this year hosted by Nelly! I had the chance to meet Nelly and he is so disarmingly funny, charming and approachable. I’m a new Nelly fan and I’ll totally be watching him on Real Husbands Of Hollywood!
I was right there to witness Chris Tucker meeting the legendary Ron Isley!
Mara Brock Akil and Tisha Campbell-Martin are two classy, wonderful women who always are sweet and friendly to me when I see them at industry events. We chatted about Mara’s new project, Being Mary Jane, which debuted this week on BET!
I met Estelle, and she was beyond lovely!
Sheila E SHUT IT DOWN. I want so much to give her one of my very last All Of My Purple Life lipglasses. I bet she’d love it!
The room was jam packed with celebrities, and the evening culminated with a jaw dropping performance by Sheila E – she remains as beautiful and talented as ever and it was such a trip to find myself on the dancefloor getting down to The Glamorous Life alongside the likes of Wayne Brady, Tatyana Ali and Holly Robinson-Peete. Craziness!
The next day it was all about getting gorgeous for the BET Awards. This year I decided to go relaxed and comfortable, but still glitzy.
I wore another Chocolate Sushi Couture dress, but I rocked it with jeans and gold-tipped, black velvet flats I was given by Shoedazzle quite some time ago. I saw some of my favorite fellow bloggers in the building!
So lovely to see Necole Bitchie, Christina of Love Brown Sugar and Latoicha of Luxetips!
The BET Awards themselves were a significantly improved affair. Better venue, dynamic performances – everything was bigger and better this year! Here are my top five moments, in order:
Charlie Wilson gets the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award, and a killer tribute that includes India.Arie, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and Pharrell ensues!
Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu came to shut it DOWN!
Blurred Lines is my summer JAM and it was impossible to sit still when Robin Thicke laid it down in person!
And I got my whole LIFE with that surprise dancehall jam!
I was beyond honored to attend the BET Awards for the second year in a row. Thank you Cadillac for bringing me along for such an amazing and unforgettable experience!