This year’s 2008 BET Awards held on Tuesday, June 24 inside the Shrine Auditorium definitely kept its promise of being “the hottest ticket in town”. Nearly all of black Hollywood’s “A-List” made an appearance during the three hour event.
Exhilerating performances were delivered from artists Alicia Keyes, T-Paine, Lil Wayne, Rihanna and Marvin Sapp. The host of the show, comedian D.L. Hughley, added a touch of his own personality and humor to the unforgettable night where R&B, hip-hop, and Gospel music came together on one stage. Legendary rapper, MC Lyte, narrated the show during the set changes.
The star-studded show kicked off with an electric performance by Usher who sang his hit single “Love in This Club.” Following Usher, talented songstress Alicia Keyes performed her new single “Teenage Love Affair” from her album Here I Am. Keyes wowed the crowd when she brought out veteran R&B female groups SWV, TLC, and En Vogue. The songbirds joined her on stage for a medley of their hit songs “Weak,” “Hold On,” and “Waterfalls.” Keyes later expressed to media gathered in the press room how much she enjoyed performing with the three female groups. “…To be able to feature SWV, En Vogue, and TLC; three of the all-time best girl groups ever…It was incredible. I’m a fan of theirs and for me to give them love up there tonight was unbelievable.” The two groups SWV and En Vogue both stated they were also honored to perform with Keyes for the award show and both groups say they will performing together again in the near future.
Keyes was not the only collaboration that shared the stage. T-Paine and Lil Wayne were followed by performances from Chris Brown and Ciara. Then, Keshia Cole with ‘Lil’ Kim partnered for “Let it Go” and “Sent from Heaven”.
BET also honored two trailblazers in black music, Reverend Al Green with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Quincy Jones with the Humanitarian Award.
The highlight of the night was a musical tribute to the legendary singer Al Green by Jill Scott, Maxwell and Anthony Hamilton. After the three performed, Al Green got on stage and performed his soulful hits “I’m So in Love with You” and “Love and Happiness.” Fortunately, the 62-year old crooner has not put his unparalleled voice into retirement yet. Green, who prefers to be called “Reverend Green,” has currently released a Gospel CD, “Lay it Down” featuring well-known artists John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae.
This year’s upcoming Presidential election, and presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama, were a major buzz at the BET Awards. Actress Nia Long, rapper David Banner, R&B singers John Legend and Alicia Keyes publicly voiced their message about the importance of voting. Comedian, Kym Whitley’s allegiance was very obvious on the red carpet when she appeared in a sheer, purple long-sleeve blouse with “Barack Obama” written in glittery black bold letters across her chest.
This year’s winners for the BET Awards were: Alicia Keyes for “Best Female R&B Artist,” Chris Brown for “Best Male R&B Artist,” UGK received two awards for “Best Group” and “Video of the Year,” Marvin Sapp won for “Best Gospel Artsist,” Missy Elliot received “Best Female Hip-Hop Artist,” Kanye West left with two awards for “Best Collaboration with T-Pain” and “Best male Hip-Hop Artist.” Upcoming artist The Dream won for “Best New Artist,” Erykah Badu won for “Best Video Director,” Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won for “Best Actor” and “Best Actress,” while Raheem Devaughn went home with the BET J Award and ‘Lil’ Wayne received the Viewer’s Choice Award.
This 2008 BET Awards will be re-broadcasted on the BET channel. Check your cable listings for times in your area.