Beyoncé brought a glimpse of her Formation world tour to the BET Awards stage Sunday night as the show’s opening performer, borrowing the setup and themes she’s been using out on the road. But on this night, there was one big difference: She was joined by the song’s guest, Kendrick Lamar, for their first live rendition of the song. [Note: BET and MTV News are both owned by Viacom.]
After an excerpt of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech played, Bey — ankle-deep in water, backed by fire, and flanked with dancers — kicked off the performance, delivering her vocals as powerfully as we’ve come to expect. Then K. Dot appeared, unannounced, spitting not only his verse from the Lemonade track but a previously unheard preamble to it, as well. He’s made a bit of a habit of debuting new verses to already released songs at awards shows.