BET celebrated it's 10th anniversary of the BET Awards in style on June 27. The show, which was held in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, featured some special surprise performances.
For 12-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, the night was hers.
The J Records recording artist was honored with the Artist of the Decade Award and sang some of her biggest hits, including 'If It Ain't You,' 'Unthinkable' and 'No One.' The newly pregnant singe-/songwriter also took home two awards – one for best collaboration with Jay-Z for 'Empire State of Mind' and another for another for best female R&B artist.
Prince received the Lifetime Achievement Award and hand-picked his favorite female vocalists to perform his classics.
The women included Janelle Monae, who opened the set with 'Let's Go Crazy,' followed by Esperanza Spalding's rendition of 'If I Was Your Girlfriend.' Alicia Keys returned to the stage to play piano and sing 'Adore' and climbed up onto of the piano toward the end of her performance. Closing things out was Patti LaBelle with the seminal hit 'Purple Rain.' The legendary diva kicked off her shoes, and Prince caught one of them. LaBelle and his friend Chaka Khan presented Prince with the award.
This might have been Kanye West's first award show performance in over a year, but the night belonged to Chris Brown, who took the stage and gave the award show's most memorable performance – a tribute to the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Brown, who was set to perform last year's tribute to Jackson but was cut front the show at the last minute, danced to Jackson's biggest hits like 'Smooth Criminal,' 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Remember the Time' before bursting in to tears during 'Man in the Mirror.' The crowd gave him a rousing standing ovation.
Brown was honored with the AOL Fandemonium Award, saying, "I didn't prepare a speech but I could never have done any of this without my fans, and I just want to say one thing. I let y'all down before but I won't do it again. I promise."
They might be rap newcomers, but Drake and Nicki Minaj took home rap honors. Drake, whose debut, 'Thank Me Later,' just hit stores a week ago, took home best male hip-hop artist. His label mate Minaj, who gave props to Jada Pinkett Smith in her speech, took home best female hip-hop artist. She also took the stage three times -- once with Diddy and Dirty Money for the remix to 'Hello, Good Morning' and later with Ludacris for 'My Chick Bad' and DJ Khaled for 'All I Do is Win.'
Both artists shouted out their Young Money rap crew and thanked their incarcerated mentor Lil' Wayne.
Finally, John Legend was honored with the Humanitarian Award.
Complete List of 'BET Awards '10' Award Winners:
Best Female R&B Artist: Alicia Keys
Best Male R&B Artist:
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist:
Best New Artist:
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys 'Empire State of Mind'
Video of the Year:
Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga 'Video Phone'
Video Director of the Year: Hype Williams
Best Actor: Idris Elba
Best Movie: 'Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire'
Subway Sportwoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Subway Sportman of the Year:
Best International Act:
Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Humanitarian Award: John Legend
Lifetime Achievement Award
Viewers' Choice Award
Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy 'Hard'
DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Rick Ross perform at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 27, 2010 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Top 30 Sexiest Rappers of All Time
Hip-Hop music has churned out some of the sexiest entertainers in the music business, but being hot is more than just skin deep. Sometimes sexiness is in the delivery of a rap line or a sensational sense of style. Here, Blackvoices.com takes a look at some of the sexiest hip-hop stars of all time.
When Foxy Brown (real name Inga Marchand) came on the scene in the mid-'90s with her long jet-black hair and curvaceous body, the Brooklyn rapper made the fellas swoon before even launching into one of her signature rhymes. Her sassy, sexy attitude also came across on songs like 'Ain't No Ni**a' with Jay-Z and 'Get Me Home' with Blackstreet.
He's the best thing to come out of St. Louis. The former Sean Jean spokesperson, who was until recently romantically involved to R&B singer Ashanti, has the body of a professional athlete. Nelly is known for switching up his clothing style and isn't afraid to wear a suit one day and a pair of Air Force Ones the next.
The self-proclaimed "Queen Bitch" not only talked about sex -- explicitly -- on her platinum-plated 1996 debut, 'Hardcore,' but she also proved to be the real deal off wax, too. A protégé of slain rap kingpin The Notorious B.I.G., Kimberly Denise Jones didn't shy away from baring her beautiful body (pre-surgery) in provocative shoots for mainstream magazines, album covers and music videos.
She might have been affiliated with Ice Cube and the West Coast gangsta rap movement, but with YoYo's light-brown eyes and caramel complexion, there's no second-guessing that she's a lady. The Cali native was known for songs about female empowerment and making a case against sexism, but her beauty cast her in a league of her own among so many of her female rap counterparts of the '90s.
In an age when there are few sexy female rappers, Nicki Minaj definitely stands out. The self-proclaimed Barbie entertains the masses with her animated deliverys and dollish figure, complete with a small waist and always-on-display cleavage. The Queens native and Lil' Wayne protégé also isn't shy about autographing the boobs of her adoring fans.
When Will Smith arrived on the music scene with songs like 'Parents Just Don't Understand' and 'Summertime,' he was an awkward, skinny Philly teen. But the Grammy Award-winning rapper successfully transitioned into one of the most successful black Hollywood stars with roles in action flicks such as 'Independence Day' and 'Bad Boys.' Now, he's one of the hunkiest rapper-turned-actors around.
Hands down, Rakim is every rapper's favorite rapper. He's influenced the spectrum of hip-hop no matter the geographic region, but the Microphone Fiend, who hails from New York, is also easy on the eyes with his flawless skin and laid-back style.
Like Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Bootsy Collins, Outkast rapper Andre 3000's fashion style is anything but safe. At the height of his career, he was rocking loud colors, kilts and Afro wigs, but even then he managed to pull R&B sensation Erykah Badu as his girlfriend and the two had a son, Seven. The 'Hey Ya' rapper opened up his heart on the breakthrough album 'The Love Below' and he continues to tug the heart strings of hip-hop lovers and beyond.
There's no better way to get the top spot than by coming for the crown of the hottest rapper. That's exactly what 50 Cent did, letting it be known that he was no fan of Ja Rule and at the same time showing off why he is one hunk of a man. The G-Unit general has evolved into a mogul, most notably with his early Vitamin Water acquisition, and still isn't afraid to show off the goods.
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