BET Awards ’07 Wrap Up
The BET Awards â€˜07 show at the Shrine Auditorium, hosted by actress/comedienne Monique, was a night of elegance and celebration for classic talent as both Beyonce and Oscar Award Winner actress Jennifer Hudson left the building with two trophies.
Hudson, who had never previously been nominated for a BET Award, was named Best New Artist and Best Female Actress. She also opened the show with an explosive performance. Joined by one of the original Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, the two belted out their signature song, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Goingâ€, which set the pace for an all out hot night.
BET favorite BeyonceÂ´ ran the nominations board with six for her chart-topping album B-Day. She was named Best Female R&B Artist and her hit song "Irreplaceableâ€ snagged the award for Video of the Year where she thanked Best Male R&B Artist, Ne-Yo, for "writing such an amazing song.â€
The self-proclaimed King of the South, T.I. was in attendance with his lady Tiny and gave the crowd a mind twisting performance of his hit single, "Big Things Poppin'". Earlier in the week, T.I. came under fire for getting in a fight with Chaka Zulu, the manager of fellow Atlanta rapper Ludacris, who was also nominated in the same category. As part of T.I.'s acceptance speech for winning Best Hip Hop Artist, the two-time BET award winner apologized for his actions.Â Kirk Franklin took home the award for Best Gospel Artist for the second year in a row.Â Ludacris and Mary J. Blige won for Best Song Collaboration for the emotional hit, "Runaway Love,â€ and the Best Group was awarded to the absent Gnarls Barkley.
Crowd favorite Birdman and Lil Wayne accepted the Viewers' Choice Award and Lebron James was named athlete of the year.
The night was filled with surprises as Diana Ross was honored her children and serenaded with a jazzy performance by Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan, and Stevie Wonder, when she received the Lifetime Achievement Award.Â She gave a warm thanks to Berry Gordy, also in attendance, for giving her her start and being behind a career a label that spans over 50 years.
The tone picked back up with a high-energy performance by Ciara and Beyonce surprised the crowd when she was joined by Kelly, Eve, Michelle and even little sister Solange in a sexy soirÃ©e.Â Also in attendance were Alicia Keyes, Gladys Knight, and Ashanti, who announced her new album, which will be dropping later this year.
The underrated award-winning actor Don Cheadle humbly accepted his Humanitarian Award for his dedication to the genocide taking place in Darfur.Â "I hope to make everybody proud,â€ Cheadle said.Â "It's going to take many years of service before I think I will be deserving of this.â€
Outside of the Shrine Auditiorium, some of the Los Angeles streets were shut down when hip-hop heavyweight Curtis Jackson shut down the stage and the streets, turning them into an amusement park.Â Inside, emotional tributes to the late Gerald Levert, who was paid tribute to by his father, and James Brown, which closed the show with a reunion of Public Enemy, gave the audience a reason to smile and cry.
The BET Awards 07' will air an encore telecast on Friday, June 29 from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT.