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Keke Palmer Channels Usher with Amazing “You Make Me Wanna…” Tribute Performance

The Password host danced just like Usher for a phenomenal surprise at the 2024 BET Awards.

By Chris Phelan

Keke Palmer is kicking off the summer of 2024 with a bang by giving a transformative performance.

How to Watch

Watch Password Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Besides being the host of Password alongside Jimmy Fallon and being a mom to one of the cutest 1-year-olds on the planet, Palmer is also a stellar singer and entertainer. Her out-of-this-world talent was on full display during the 2024 BET Awards on June 30.

The 30-year-old blew the roof off the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles with an unreal live Usher tribute performance of his 1997 mega-hit, “You Make Me Wanna…”. The moment was apart of a medley of Usher throwbacks performed by Victoria Monet, Teyana Taylor, Bel-Air's Coco Jones, and more, in honor of his BET Lifetime Achievement Award.

Channeling his late 1990s and 2000s swag, Palmer donned sequined baggy low-cute jeans and an Atlanta baseball hat (a nod to the legend's hometown).

“It’s time we start the conversation on Keke Palmer being one of the most talented people in the industry,” BET captioned her performance on Instagram.

It was a night that saw Black culture celebrated at the highest level — writers, musicians, filmmakers, philanthropists, and other prominent men and women were honored — but for many viewers, Palmer’s performance of “You Make Me Wanna…” will be the lasting image of an unbelievably successful evening. 

Make no mistake about it: Usher is similarly talented, after all, nobody wins two seasons of The Voice by accident.

Keke Palmer performs onstage at the 2024 BET Awards.

Palmer is one of those generational talents who are exceptional in many different areas, and it shouldn’t be surprising that she took an all-time classic and transformed it into something fresh.

Keke Palmer and Usher's "Boyfriend" collaboration

This isn’t the first time Palmer has lent her talents to something authentically Usher. She memorably starred in the music video for his 2023 single, “Boyfriend!”

A split of Keke Palmer and Usher at the 2024 BET Awards

The music video, which has garnered more than nine million views in less than a year, sees Palmer — and her absolutely dazzling electric-blue highlights  — take center stage as she shows off her dancing, acting, and lip-syncing skills. While the video obviously features a shirtless Usher, we’d say Palmer steals the show with ease! Check it out below:

Between her stellar Password duties, being an all-star mom, hosting an unforgettable episode of Saturday Night Live, and moonlighting as the star of one of the hottest music videos of 2023, we've got another well-rounded NBC star on our hands.