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FEATURE ARTICLE

 
2008 BET AWARD WINNERS

 

Stars sizzled at the Shrine Auditorium Tuesday night, where hip-hop, R&B and gospel performers mixed it up with actors and actresses for the BET Awards '08. 

 

Rappers Lil Wayne and Kanye West were big winners last night (June 24). Both West and Wayne won multiple awards, with West winning the Best Hip-Hop Award. West  used his speech opportunity to praise Wayne referring to him as his “fiercest competition." "You scared me man," West said. "Congratulations on selling over a million records. And they say hip hop is dead."

 

Producer/ rapper T-Pain transformed the BET Awards into a circus.  Wearing a spangled top hat, T-Pain — nominated for a leading five BET Awards — shared the stage with fellow nominees Flo Rida, Rick Ross, Ludacris and Big Boi, along with a bevy of big-top freaks, including fire eaters and acrobats.

 

Not to be outdone, the ladies offered a showstopping performance of their own, led by double nominee Keys. Rocking a sleek bob and skintight jeans, Keys invited vintage girl groups SWV, En Vogue and TLC to join her onstage for a medley of their biggest hits. By the time they closed with TLC's "Waterfalls," the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium was on its feet.

 

Viewers Choice award winner Lil Wayne was set to deliver the night's most anticipated performance, and he didn't disappoint. Joined by uber-collaborator T-Pain, who wore a t-shirt that read "T-Wayne," Lil Wayne delivered a medley of hits including "A Milli" and his No. 1 song "Lollipop."

 

After tributes by Jill Scott and Maxwell, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Al Green delivered a stellar performance of his own, hitting all the high notes on his hits "Let's Stay Together" and "Love and Happiness."

 

"I'm sorry I didn't sing as well as I could. I got scared," a modest Green confessed backstage.

 

Queen Latifah introduced Humanitarian Award recipient Quincy Jones, calling him "an international artist, an innovator ... and a leader."

 

"He showed us black entertainment is more than just a hustle," she said. "It's more than just selling albums. It's about inspiration."

 

Receiving the award "is one of the very treasured moments of my life," Jones said, "and I always hope to live up to this honor."

 

A somber moment came when UGK was named best group. Bun B honored his fallen bandmate, Pimp C, who died in December at age 33 from complications of sleep apnea.

 

"It's hard to do this with my brother not being here," Bun B said, while joined onstage with Pimp C's wife. "We want to thank y'all for supporting UGK all these years. It's still UGK for life... Long live Pimp C."

 

Other performers and presenters during the evening included a new, shapely Lil Kim, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nelly and Usher.

 

 

Complete list of winners of the 2008 BET Awards:

Female R&B artist: Alicia Keys

Male R&B artist: Chris Brown

Group: UGK

Gospel artist: Marvin Sapp

Female hip-hop artist: Missy Elliott

Male hip-hop artist: Kanye West

New artist: The-Dream

Collaboration: Kanye West f/T-Pain, "Good Life"

Video director: Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto

Video of the Year: UGK f/Outkast, "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)"

Actress: Halle Berry

Actor: Denzel Washington

Female athlete: Candace Parker

Male athlete: Kobe Bryant

BET J Award: Raheem DeVaughn

Viewers' choice: Lil Wayne, "Lollipop"

Lifetime Achievement Award: Al Green

Humanitarian Award: Quincy Jones



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