Kane Brown Makes History on the 2020 BET Awards

He debuted his diversity-celebrating anthem, "Worldwide Beautiful."

Written by Chris Parton
Kane Brown Makes History on the 2020 BET Awards
Kane Brown and Jonathan McReynolds; Photo credit: John Shearer

Kane Brown made history over the weekend (June 28), becoming the first black male solo country artist to perform at the BET Awards — and the first country artist ever to debut a track on the show.

Produced as a virtual-only event for the first time, the 2020 BET Awards featured performances from all around the nation, including Brown’s segment from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The hit maker teamed up with gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds for a special segment set up like a “musical conversation,” with Brown giving his big hearted new track “Worldwide Beautiful” its TV debut McReynolds singing his passionate hit, “People.”

McReynolds went first, letting his tender voice soar over lines about those who stand in the way of tolerance and equality, playing acoustic guitar and with a string section scattered throughout the Ryman’s empty pews behind him. McReynolds then left the stage as the camera turned to find Brown and his band, ready to offer an optimistic counterpoint.

“You’re missing every color, if you’re only seeing black and white / Tell me how you’re gonna change your mind if your heart’s unmovable / We ain’t that different from each other / From one to another, I / Look around and see worldwide beautiful,” goes the uplifting chorus message.

Brown’s appearance on the show also marked the first time a Nashville performance has been featured on the long-running celebration of black culture. “Worldwide Beautiful” was written by Brown with Shy Carter, Ryan Hurd and Jordan Schmidt, and proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of America.