Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Chris Brown Big Winners at 2012 BET Awards

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

BET held its annual awards show Sunday night, and while the censors worked up a sweat trying to mute the cursing - to mixed results - the marathon show saw multiple nominees Kanye West and Jay-Z, as well as Chris Brown and Jay's wife Beyonce, take home multiple awards. There also was a moving tribute to Whitney Houston from her former peers and her mother, Cissy.

The show opened with Kanye and his G.O.O.D. partners Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz performing "Mercy," which led to 'Ye performing his "Way Too Cold," featuring a rap tribute to current girlfriend Kim Kardashian, who like Kanye was dressed all in white at the ceremony.

Some laughs included host Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee spoofing Jay and 'Ye's "N***as in Paris," and Jay-Z interrupting Kanye's acceptance speech for video of the year, spoofing Kanye's infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's 2009 MTV VMA speech.

Mariah Carey got emotional introducing a musical tribute to her friend Whitney Houston - a tribute that featured performers including Monica, Brandy, and Chaka Khan singing Whitney's hits. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Cissy Houston sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water" to honor her daughter.

Here are the main winners:

Video of the Year - "Otis" by Kanye West & Jay-Z Best Group - The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z) Best New Artist - Big Sean Best Male R&B Artist - Chris Brown Best Collaboration - Wale (featuring Miguel) Best Gospel - Yolanda Adams Best Female R&B Artist - Beyonce Best Female Hip Hop Artist - Nicki Minaj Lifetime Achievement Award - Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly) BET Humanitarian Award - Rev. Al Sharpton Viewers' Choice Award - Mindless Behavior Video Director of the Year - Beyonce & Alan Ferguson Fandemonium Award - Chris Brown Best Actor - Kevin Hart

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