Singer Beyoncé and first-time BET Awards nominee Jennifer Hudson each walked away with two awards. Beyoncé was named Best Female R&B Artist and won for Video of the Year for the female-empowering “Irreplaceable,” while Hudson won Best New Artist and Best Female Actress. Rapper T.I. repeated his win from last year’s awards for Best Hip Hop Artist, and Kirk Franklin also came through with a repeat win for Best Gospel Artist. Ludacris and Mary J. Blige were awarded Best Song Collaboration for “Runaway Love,” and Gnarls Barkley was named Best Group.
Actress and comedienne Mo’Nique hosted the program for an unprecedented
third time, with performances featured by T.I., 50 Cent, Ciara, Diddy, Keyshia
Cole, Robin Thicke, Eve, Kelly Rowland, and Ne-Yo. The BET Awards also honored
singer and actress Diana Ross with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and award-winning
actor Don Cheadle was presented with the Humanitarian Award for his efforts
to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur.
Stars from Hollywood and the recording industry also made appearances at the show, including Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Erykah Badu, Nelly, Alicia Keys, Nick Cannon, Michael Clark Duncan, and Tyler Perry.
BET Networks also paid tribute to the late James Brown and Gerald Levert, with performances by Bootsy Collins, Public Enemy (Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Prof. Griffin, and DJ Lord), Gladys Knight, and Yolanda Adams.
Legendary hip-hop songwriter and artist Rev. Run from the groundbreaking group Run-DMC will be honored as a "BMI Icon" at the performing right organization’s 7th Annual Urban Awards. The invitation-only gala, which will also recognize the past year’s most-performed BMI urban songs, is set for September 7 at The New York New York in Las Vegas, coinciding with the MTV Video Music Awards being held September 9.
The "Icon" designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Rev. Run will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute during the ceremony, and he joins an elite group that already includes James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Charlie Wilson and The Gap Band, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and last year’s honorees Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
As one third of Run-DMC, Rev. Run helped change the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock & roll than his contemporaries. From the boom box classic single “Sucker MCs” (1983) to their standard-setting discs Run-DMC, King of Rock, Raising Hell, and Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC defined a new level of black cool. Dressed in their trademarked black hats, outfits to match and strangely laced Adidas sneakers, Run-DMC stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the 80s and knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation. A multi-medium star — he stars in his own television show, Run’s House, as well working closely with brother Russell on the Phat Farm clothing line — Rev. Run continues to create, having just released his newest album, Distortion, on the Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG).
Hosted by BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and Catherine Brewton, the seventh annual BMI Urban Awards will recognize the songwriters, publishers, and producers of the top BMI urban songs played on American radio and television. An Urban Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year and Producer of the Year will be named during the ceremony. In addition, the writers of the songs that reached the #1 spots on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and Hot Rap Tracks charts will also be honored.