The BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, and big winners included Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and, of course, Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé.
Jay-Z and West – aka The Throne – were given the first award of the night, best group, presented after a performance by West, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m bad at losing, and I’m bad at winning,” West said in his acceptance speech. “I’m already saying the wrong thing. I wish Jay-Z was here to say something politically correct for me.”
“We worked really hard on this album,” Jay-Z, who suddenly appeared from backstage, said. “We didn’t take anything for granted. We didn’t rely on our name. … We’re going to just keep making the best stuff ever.”
West, who was up for seven awards, was the top nominee. Beyonce was the second most nominated act with six. She won video director of the year (along with Alan Ferguson) and best female R&B artist and thanked the genre and her female influences, according to NY Daily News.
“I fell in love with music by listening to R&B. It’s the core of who I am,” Beyonce said, giving special thanks to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and “Whitney Houston, my angel.”
While accepting the video of the year award for “Otis,” Jay-Z also had fun with West, interrupting the latter as he was trying to give his acceptance speech. (West famously interrupted Tayor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to declare his belief that Beyonce should have won the award for best female video.)
“Excuse me, Kanye, I’m gonna let you continue, but ….” Jay-Z joked. The audience erupted with laughter. West laughed at the jab, as did Beyonce from her front-row seat in the audience.
Chris Brown was also a double winner. Kevin Hart — who hosted the awards last year — also won for best actor, Big Sean was named best new artist and Wale and Miguel’s smooth hit “Lotus Flower Bomb” won best collaboration.
Nicki Minaj, who performed during the show, was named best female hip-hop artist for the third year in a row.
“I don’t take it for granted,” she said in accepting the award. “Thank you BET for keeping this category alive and appreciating all the female rappers for doing their thing — past, present and future.”
The night also featured an extensive Whitney Houston tribute.
Whitney Houston’s mother performed a rousing, emotional tribute to her late daughter, according to The Huff Post.
Beyonce, Melanie Fiona and others cried as Cissy Houston sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on Sunday night.
Mariah Carey opened the tribute with memories of her friend. She was followed by a moving number by Monica. Brandy, heavily influenced by Houston, sang two of the late singer’s hits.
Chaka Khan blazed the stage with “I’m Every Woman,” which Houston remade. Gary Houston, Whitney’s brother, also performed.
Chante Moore peformed a tribute to the late Donna Summer, while Valerie Ashford sang “Ain’t Nothing but the Real Thing” in honor of her late husband, Nick Ashford.