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