BET celebrates success of their Amplified Program for emerging artists

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BET AND BET International announced Zambian-born, Botswana-raised rapper, Sampa The Great, as the first-ever BET Amplified global artist.

Starting this week, the network is kicking off a month-long effort to build awareness around Sampa to their core audiences globally and will highlight her work in a multitude of ways including linear and digital programming across BET Jams, BET Her, BET Soul and BET International channels in Africa, UK, France and South Korea.

This marks the first BET Amplified artist for BET International who will continue to spotlight international artists each month with BET Amplified International.

BET Amplified, a multifaceted campaign that identifies and elevates stars on the rise, launched in January 2020 in the US Spearheaded by the BET Music Programming team, under the leadership of Connie Orlando, the recently appointed EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy; The goal of BET Amplified is to engage in specialised social and digital activations, giving artists full frame promo spots across all BET channels, and creating unique opportunities for them to engage with audiences across BET’s platform of over 90 million households around the world. 

Artists are selected based on criteria including their unique sound, social media presence, and projected impact on the music industry and entertainment industry at-large.

With the first BET Amplified global artist, the BET team sought to identify a groundbreaking artist with transcontinental appeal and expand to reach audiences around the world. Sampa The Great was a clear choice. 

“We launched BET Amplified with the goal of highlighting emerging artists within the states, and we’re so grateful to see the program continuously expand since its inception, now reaching our network of channels around the world,” said Connie Orlando, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET,

Orlando added: “BET has been a launching pad for emerging talent since the networks inception 40 years ago. With the rapid changes of the new digital age, I’m thrilled to usher in new ways to work collaboratively with artists and the music industry as we continue to build on that long standing history and find new ways to continue to introduce new talent to our audiences.”

Zambian-born, Botswana-raised and now Melbourne-based, Sampa The Great is best known for her blend of hip-hop, soul, R&B and spoken word. Studying audio engineering in the US before moving to Australia six years ago, it was the shock of losing a close friend that prompted her to take the leap to become an artist.

What began as attending weekly Jazz Hip-Hop Freestyle sessions in Sydney, evolved into building a network of like-minded artists that would later become producers on her early studio projects.

Co-signed by Kendrick Lamar and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Sampa quickly forged a reputation for breaking both personal and industry records, winning the prestigious Australian Music Prize twice; in 2017 for her mixtape Birds And The BEE9 and in 2019 for her debut album The Return.

In 2019, Sampa also won her first ARIA (the Australian equivalent of the Grammys) for Best Hip Hop release for Final Form, the breakout single from The Return.

“We’re thrilled to honor Sampa The Great, an outstanding talent, and celebrate her on a global level,” said Monde Twala, SVP & GM of ViacomCBS Networks Africa and BET International,

“Identifying and elevating Black talent to a global audience is one of our highest priorities as a brand and it’s our duty to use our massive footprint to amplify emerging artists. In doing so, we’re not only shining a light on incredible artists, but also connecting music lovers to the culture across the world.

“We continue to support and serve as an advocate for young talent to grow and develop.”

On the honor, Sampa says: “I’m so excited to be the ‘BET Amplified’ artist for September.

“Representing Zambia on the global stage, the best way I know how – through my music!”

With more projects on the horizon and plans to resume touring as soon as it’s safe to do so, Sampa The Great shows no signs of slowing down in 2020 and into 2021.


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