Will Smith is poised to make a notable return to the music industry with the debut of a new song at the BET Awards on June 30. This marks Smith's first major solo performance in over two years, a significant step following the widely publicized incident at the 2022 Oscars. During the awards ceremony, Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, which resulted in a ten-year ban from Academy events.

Smith has been diligently working on his music career. According to NBC News, sources claim that the actor has been developing a new album following his cameo with J Balvin at the Coachella Festival in April. During that performance, Smith, dressed in his iconic Men in Black costume, joined Balvin for a UFO-themed set, creating quite a buzz.

"From his start as a rapper to 'The Fresh Prince' to being a box office king as one of the Bad Boys, Will Smith is truly a global icon, and we are honored to welcome him back to grace the BET Awards stage," said Connie Orlando, EVP specials, music programming, and music strategy at BET. "We look forward to Will adding to yet another defining night for the culture that is not to be missed."

Smith’s performance is highly anticipated, not only for his new music but also for his return to the stage after the Oscars incident. He has publicly apologized twice for the altercation, but the fallout has been significant. "I was fogged out by that point. It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out," Smith said in his first on-camera apology on YouTube. "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you."

The BET Awards will also feature performances from other prominent artists, including Queen Latifah, Cardi B, Gunna, Ice Spice, Latto, Lauryn Hill & YG Marley, Sexxy Red, Tanner Adell, Victoria Monét, Shaboozey, Tyla, and Common.

Drake leads the nominations with seven nods, followed by other notable artists vying for top honors in various categories. The awards promise to be a star-studded event celebrating the best in music, film, and sports.

Full List of Nominees:

Album of the Year:

  • Chris Brown, "11:11"
  • Gunna, "A Gift & A Curse"
  • 21 Savage, "American Dream"
  • Usher, "Coming Home"
  • Drake, "For All the Dogs (Scary Hours Edition)"
  • Victoria Monét, "Jaguar II"
  • Killer Mike, "Michael"
  • Nicki Minaj, "Pink Friday 2"

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist:

  • Beyoncé
  • Coco Jones
  • Doja Cat
  • H.E.R.
  • Muni Long
  • SZA
  • Tyla
  • Victoria Monét

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist:

  • Brent Faiyaz
  • Bryson Tiller
  • Burna Boy
  • Chris Brown
  • Drake
  • Fridayy
  • October London
  • Usher

Best Group:

  • ¥$, Ye, Ty Dolla $ign
  • 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne
  • 41
  • Blxst & Bino Rideaux
  • City Girls
  • Flo
  • Maverick City Music
  • Wanmor

Best Collaboration:

  • Lil Durk feat. J. Cole, "All My Life"
  • Beyoncé feat. Kendrick Lamar, "America Has a Problem (Remix)"
  • Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (With Aqua), "Barbie World"
  • Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, "Bongos"
  • ¥$, Ye, Ty Dolla $ign feat. Rich The Kid, Playboi Carti, "Carnival"
  • Lola Brooke feat. Latto & Yung Miami, "Don't Play With It (Remix)"
  • Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Uzi Vert, "Everybody"
  • Usher, Summer Walker & 21 Savage, "Good Good"
  • Drake feat. Sexyy Red & SZA, "Rich Baby Daddy"

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist:

  • Cardi B
  • Doja Cat
  • GloRilla
  • Ice Spice
  • Latto
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Sexyy Red

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist:

  • 21 Savage
  • Burna Boy
  • Drake
  • Future
  • Gunna
  • J. Cole
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Lil Wayne

Best New Artist:

  • 41
  • 4Batz
  • Ayra Starr
  • Bossman Dlow
  • Fridayy
  • October London
  • Sexyy Red
  • Tyla

Video of the Year:

  • Doja Cat, "Agora Hills"
  • Lil Durk feat J. Cole, "All My Life"
  • Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (With Aqua), "Barbie World"
  • Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, "Bongos"
  • Drake feat. J. Cole, "First Person Shooter"
  • Usher, Summer Walker & 21 Savage, "Good Good"
  • Victoria Monét, "On My Mama"
  • Drake feat. Sexyy Red & SZA, "Rich Baby Daddy"

Video Director of the Year:

  • Benny Boom
  • Child.
  • Cole Bennett
  • Dave Meyers
  • Janelle Monáe & Alan Ferguson
  • Offset
  • Tems
  • Tyler, The Creator

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award:

  • Shirley Caesar, "Award All of the Glory"
  • Kirk Franklin, "All Things"
  • Halle Bailey, "Angel"
  • CeCe Winans, "Come Jesus Come"
  • Erica Campbell, Do You Believe in Love?"
  • Maverick City Music, Naomi Raine & Chandler Moore, "God Problems"
  • Tems, "Me & U"
  • Kirk Franklin, "Try Love"

Viewer's Choice Award:

  • Doja Cat, "Agora Hills"
  • Lil Durk feat. J. Cole, "All My Life"
  • Gunna, "Fukumean"
  • Jack Harlow, "Lovin on Me"
  • Muni Long, "Made for Me"
  • Victoria Monét, "On My Mama"
  • Drake feat. Sexyy Red & SZA, "Rich Baby Daddy"
  • Chris Brown feat. Davido & Lojay, "Sensational"
  • Beyoncé, "Texas Hold 'Em"
  • Tyla, "Water"

Best International Act:

  • Asake (Africa)
  • Aya Nakamura (France)
  • Ayra Starr (Africa)
  • Bk' (Brazil)
  • Cleo Sol (UK)
  • Focalistic (Africa)
  • Karol Conká (Brazil)
  • Raye (UK)
  • Tiakola (France)
  • Tyla (Africa)

Viewer's Choice: Best New International Act:

  • Bellah (UK)
  • Cristale (UK)
  • Duquesa (Brazil)
  • Holly G (France)
  • Jungeli (France)
  • Makhadzi (Africa)
  • Oruam (Brazil)
  • Seyi Vibez (Africa)
  • Tyler Icu (Africa)

BET Her:

  • Beyoncé, "16 Carriages"
  • Nicki Minaj feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard, "Blessings"
  • Ayra Starr, "Commas"
  • Flo feat. Missy Elliott, "Fly Girl"
  • Megan Thee Stallion, "Hiss"
  • Victoria Monét, "On My Mama"
  • SZA, "Saturn"
  • GloRilla, "Yeah Glo!"

Best Movie:

  • American Fiction
  • Bob Marley: One Love
  • Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • The Book of Clarence
  • The Color Purple
  • The Equalizer 3
  • The Little Mermaid

Best Actor:

  • Anthony Mackie
  • Colman Domingo
  • Damson Idris
  • Denzel Washington
  • Donald Glover
  • Idris Elba
  • Jeffrey Wright
  • Lakeith Stanfield

Best Actress:

  • Angela Bassett
  • Ayo Edebiri
  • Coco Jones
  • Danielle Brooks
  • Fantasia
  • Halle Bailey
  • Issa Rae
  • Regina King

YoungStars Award:

  • Akira Akbar
  • Blue Ivy Carter
  • Demi Singleton
  • Heiress Diana Harris
  • Jabria McCullum
  • Jalyn Hall
  • Leah Jeffries
  • Van Van

Sportswoman of the Year Award:

  • A'ja Wilson
  • Angel Reese
  • Coco Gauff
  • Flau'jae Johnson
  • Juju Watkins
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Sha'carri Richardson
  • Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year Award:

  • Anthony Edwards
  • Gervonta Davis
  • Jalen Brunson
  • Jalen Hurts
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Lebron James
  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Stephen Curry