Stephen G. Hill Talks Expanding BET Awards Brand and Road to Success

Executive details popular program transition into The BET Experience

The BET Experience will include seminars and concerts leading up to this year's awards show. (Image: BET)

The BET Awards this year will be slightly different in that it won’t just be the awards shows; It’ll be a weekend entitled, The BET Experience. What will this weekend consist of and what was the motivation behind it?

The BET Experience is a three-day celebration of music, information, empowerment and seminars. There will be seminars during the day and music as well, as we take over L.A. Live. [Each day there will be] great concerts at the Staples Center. Friday night has Beyonce—her North American tour debut at the Staples Center; the following night has this great line-up of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Schoolboy Q, Miguel, and then Sunday, we are doing a cool thing with R. Kelly, which closes the BET Awards and opens the final night at Staples. So, it’s a really cool way we’re going to mix the two together.

For the first time on stage, performing separate sets, we are hoping to have some special surprises, including New Edition and The Jacksons. That will be a lot of fun: They’ve never performed on a stage together—on the same stage and the same night—so that’s what it consists of.

The motivation behind it was that we just made official what had been organic. People had been calling it ‘the BET Awards weekend’ for a while, and whether they had tickets to the awards show or not, folks come to Los Angeles just to hang out for the weekend and feel the ambiance. Since that was happening naturally, we decided, let’s make it official, let’s make it organized, and let’s make it so that folks can have fun but also get some entertainment and enlightenment at the same time.

What is Stephen G. Hill doing in 20 years?

I am on local radio, in a media market. I am hosting an afternoon or evening talk show talking about the good, old days, telling stories, and I am playing Janelle Monet at an oldies but goodies station.

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