LOS ANGELES, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 1st, BET AWARDS 12 kicked off with a bang when G.O.O.D. Music artists Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Pusha T exploded onto the stage for a medley of their hits "Mercy" and "Cold" before a one-of-a-kind freestyle from Kanye West that officially jumpstarted this year's "Too Big To Miss" show. Box office superstar and BET AWARDS 12 host Samuel L. Jackson was joined on stage by award-winning director Spike Lee for a hilarious parody of "N***s in Paris" that had Jay-Z and Kanye West cracking up in the front row.
In honor of the untimely passing of music icon Whitney Houston, BET AWARDS 12 pulled together an unprecedented pairing of today's divas, family members, friends, and cast mates for an emotional tribute that even brought BET AWARDS 12 double-winner Beyonce to tears. The incomparable Mariah Carey opened the In Memoriam celebration with a trio of stories, speaking about meeting her friend at the Grammys, working together on their Oscar-winning duet, "When You Believe" from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack and the last time they saw each other—laughing together in Paris in the fall.
Paying tribute to Whitney Houston's undeniable gospel roots—both spiritually and vocally, Monica took to the stage to sing "I Love The Lord." Monica's "The Boy Is Mine" duet partner, Brandy, lifted the mood with up-tempo favorites "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and "I Want To Dance With Somebody." Gary Houston, Whitney's brother, sang "Where You Are," a touching prelude to their mother's performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Cissy Houston dedicated her performance to her late daughter and brought the audience to tears with her emotional rendition of the song. Cissy Houston's performance was followed by a heartfelt and memory-filled account from Whitney's "Waiting to Exhale" co-stars Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine. Chaka Khan helped the crowd—including Soulja Boy—dry their eyes with an upbeat performance of "I'm Every Woman" that got the already standing room only crowd dancing in celebration of the late singer's life.
Other moving In Memoriam tributes included Valerie Simpson's love-filled performance to her late husband, Nick Ashford, Chante Moore singing "Love to Love You Baby" and "Bad Girls" to tribute Donna Summer, and special moments spotlighting the entertainment industry and world's loss of Dick Clark, Hal Jackson, Heavy D, Etta James, Vesta, Robin Gibb, Don Cornelius, MCA, and Chuck Brown.
R&B crooner D'Angelo returned to the television stage for the first time in 12 years for a special medley of his sultry hit "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" and a new track, "Sugar Daddy." Actor, comedian and BET AWARDS 11 host, Kevin Hart, introduced a special performance from MMG featuring Rick Ross that showcased Wale, Rick Ross and DJ Sam's "Bag of Money" and "So Sophisticated" before being joined by Meek Mill on "Black Magic." Closing out the show were Tyga and Ca$h Out performing their hit "Rack City" and "Ca$hing Out."
Other notable performances included Usher's sensual single "Climax," Nicki Minaj's booty popping rendition of "Champion" and "Beez in the Trap" with 2 Chainz, Melanie Fiona's "Wrong Side of a Love Song," Chris Brown's zombie ballet medley of "Don't Wake Me Up" and "Turn Up The Music," and BET Music Matters newcomers Charles Perry and Jannah Bell. BET's SUNDAY BEST judge Yolanda Adams, Season 4 winner Amber Bullock, Season 2 winner Y'Anna Crawley, and Season 2 1st runner-up Jessica Reedy also took to the stage for a crowd-pleasing rendition of The Clark Sisters' hit, "You Brought the Sunshine."
After a special tribute performance of their classics "Can't Get Over You," "Joy and Pain," and "Happy Feelin's" by Joe, Tyrese, and Faith Evans, respectively, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly were honored with the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award by presenter Tyler Perry. Dr. Reverent Al Sharpton was honored by BET Networks Chairman/CEO Debra L. Lee with the Humanitarian Award presented by State Farm for his tireless work to bring justice to the underrepresented and marginalized. The BET AWARDS 12 Shine A Light recipients were David A. Boone and Vy Higginsen.
Representing the cast of Quentin Tarantino's "Django," and to present the trailer for their upcoming film, which co-stars BET AWARDS 12 host Samuel L. Jackson were "Scandal" star Kerry Washington and Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx. Other BET AWARDS 12 presenters included Taraji P. Henson, Elle Varner, Cedric The Entertainer, Meagan Good, Terrence J, Rocsi, Laz Alonso, and many more.
In addition to all of these spectacular moments, the full list of BET AWARDS 12 winners are:
- Best Female R&B Artist: Beyonce
- Best Male R&B Artist: Chris Brown
- Best Group: The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West)
- Best Collaboration: Wale featuring Miguel
- Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Drake
- Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
- Video of the Year: "Otis" The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) featuring Otis Redding
- Video Director of the Year: Beyonce and Alan Ferguson
- Best New Artist: Big Sean
- Best Gospel: Yolanda Adams
- Best Actress: Viola Davis
- Best Actor: Kevin Hart
- YoungStars Award: Diggy
- Best Movie: The Help
- Subway Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
- Subway Sportsman of the Year: Kevin Durant
- Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award: Mindless Behavior
- Fandemonium Award: Chris Brown
- Centric Award: Common
- Best International Act: Africa: Sarkodie (Ghana) and Wizkid (Nigeria)
- Best International Act: UK: Wrench 32
Stephen G. Hill, BET's President of Music Programming and Specials, Lynne Harris Taylor, BET's Vice President of Specials, served as Executive Producers for the BET AWARDS 12, along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.
Official sponsors of The BET AWARDS 12 include Cadillac®, Coca-Cola®, Ford®, State Farm® and Subway®.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET operates in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
About BET Awards The BET AWARDS is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The BET AWARDS franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET's #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in 20 categories. Samuel L. Jackson will be hosting the BET Awards 12. Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj will be the first performers on the show. The BET AWARDS 12 will premiere Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 8:00PM BST across BET's international platforms in the UK and Africa. The nominees for the BET AWARDS include Beyonce, Kanye West, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Drake, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Usher, J.Cole, Big Sean, Wale, Mindless Behavior, Common, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, Kobe, Bryant, Venus Williams and many more!
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SOURCE BET Networks