The BET Awards served up another star-studded evening of back-patting on Sunday, with performances and appearances by Kanye West, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and host Samuel L. Jackson, to name just a few.
Despite the star power on hand, the most touching moment came from someone who's not used to the spotlight – Whitney Houston's mother Cissy she sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in tribute to her late daughter, leaving audience members openly weeping. Monica's follow-up tribute with "I Love the Lord," a gospel song once sang by Houston, and two upbeat Houston hits by Brandy, followed by Chaka Khan tearing up the stage with "I'm Every Woman," was just the top of the tribute iceberg in a send-off done right for the late pop queen.
As polarities often do, the other end of the performance spectrum provided a less dazzling experience. Entire segments of performances, from Nicki Minaj to Rick Ross, were censored due to foul language and obscenities, though several vulgarities were heard on air. The long stretches of censored silence were evident during the opening number by West's G.O.O.D. music group, which included Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz.
As for the winners, Kanye West, the most nominated act of the night with seven, and Jay-Z took top prize with video of the year for "Otis." They also won best group. Check out Kanye's performance of a brand new song, as well as the G.O.O.D. Music performance, right here.
Beyonce was the second most nominated act with six, but only won video director of the year (along with Alan Ferguson) and best female R&B artist. When she lost video of the year to her husband and West, she playfully hit her husband in joking jealousy (though not entirely joking we're sure). Moments later, Jay-Z upped the ante during Kanye's acceptance speech by interrupting him: "Excuse me Kanye, I'm gonna let you continue, but…" – the audience roared their laughing approval, and somewhere Taylor Swift smiled peacefully while eating care-bear gummies with her cat.
Chris Brown was also a double winner, picking up his second consecutive win for best male R&B artist, and the "Fandemonium" award for a third time. Because there is no more upstanding young man in all of rap/R&B than someone who beat the ever-loving hell out of a bona fide princess of the same universe and walked away scot free. Right? Right?!
Check out the full list of the night’s winners below:
Best Group:The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z)
Best Actor:Kevin Hart
Best New Artist:Big Sean
Best Male R&B Artist:Chris Brown
Best Collaboration:Wale ft. Miguel
Best Gospel:Yolanda Adams
Best Female R&B Artist:Beyoncé
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist:Nicki Minaj
Lifetime Achievement Award:Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Video Of The Year:“Otis,” The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z)
BET Humanitarian Award:Rev. Al Sharpton
Viewers’ Choice Award:Mindless Behavior
Video Director Of The Year:Beyoncé & Alan Ferguson
AOL Fandemonium Award:Chris Brown