Childish Gambino Among New Roster of Performers Set to Hit BET Awards Stage

Childish Gambino is back.

Donald Glover is confirmed to hit the stage at Sunday’s BET Awards, bringing his music alter ego back into the spotlight by joining a roster of newly announced performers that also includes Chlöe, Coco Jones, Keke Palmer, Marsha Ambrosius and Summer Walker. Also set to take the stage will be presenters Andra Day, Colman Domingo, DC Young Fly, Devale Ellis, Jay Ellis, Ms. Pat, Niecy Nash-Betts and wife Jessica Betts, Saucy Santana and others.

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News of Childish Gambino’s performance comes hot on the heels of a swarm of online rumors that surfaced earlier in the week when an apparent leak claimed that he had a new album titled Lithonia set for release on July 2. Glover hopped on Instagram Live on Wednesday to clarify the chatter and say that “Lithonia” is a single and he blamed Audiomack for the leak. According to Billboard, the new project is actually a soundtrack album titled Bando Stone & the New World though little is known about the accompanying film.

What Glover would say is that the project aims to bring good times back for the culture. “I’m trying to have fun. Because I feel like there’s just people not having enough fun. When I was a kid there was, like, big things that would unite us, and I just feel bad for y’all. I feel bad for some of y’all,” he said before nodding to the Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef. “Even this year, the most fun we had was from a fight. [It] was a song from a fight, from a rap beef, which I enjoyed every minute of. It was very fun. But still kind of negative in a certain light, I guess.”

The stacked BET Awards program includes previously announced boldfaced names like host Taraji P. Henson, lifetime achievement honoree Usher and performers GloRilla, Ice Spice, Latto, Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, Muni Long, Sexyy Red, Shaboozey, Tanner Adell, Tyla, Victoria Monét and YG Marley. A headline that received loads of attention earlier in the week carried news that Will Smith had been booked to perform a new song.

The Oscar winning actor and veteran rapper, who returned to No. 1 at the box office with Bad Boys: Ride or Die after a long hiatus in the wake of the Oscars slap incident, has since dropped the motivational track, “You Can Make It,” which features Fridayy and the Sunday Service Choir. “Who hasn’t been in a dark place? Who hasn’t gone through the fire? What connects us is knowing that you are not alone,” Sunday Service posted on Instagram on Friday. “Will Smith reminds us of that common connection! That if you’re willing, there are life lessons in dark places! The journey not only produces healing, but also provides growth and wisdom.”

BET also unveiled details today about its red carpet live show (executive produced by Matasa Williams) that will feature host Terrence J and performers Too $hort, Lil’ Mo, Blxst & Bino Rideaux, Connie Diiamond, 4batz, Hunxho, Kalan.FrFr, Mariah The Scientist, October London, Remy Ma, Tee Grizzley, 310babii and DJ Quik. Pretty Vee has been tapped as a correspondent; Tank will host a style stage; Mouse Jones will host a live stream; and Jae Murphy will post up at the turntables as resident DJ.

Sunday’s BET Awards will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT from Downtown L.A.’s Peacock Theater. Drake leads the field with a total of seven nominations.

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