July 2nd, 2012
10:39 AM ET
A lot happened at the 2012 BET Awards on Sunday night: D’Angelo performed live on TV for the first time in years; the late Whitney Houston was remembered with a show-stopping performance; and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian did their best to keep the rumors swirling about their relationship.
The live broadcast featured some of the biggest stars in the music world, including Jay-Z and Beyonce (who won best female R&B artist), Nicki Minaj (the recipient of the best female hip-hop artist award), and Usher.
The latter R&B star melted the stage with his super-sensual hit “Climax” amidst reports that he recently obtained a restraining order against an alleged stalker who claimed to be his wife.
Chris Brown - who opened his set with a hologram but quickly emerged showing some skin while sporting metallic body paint - also performed at the L.A. awards show under a cloud of controversy.
He ran through “Don’t Wake Me Up” and one of his most recent hits, “Turn Up The Music,” in his first big appearance since he was allegedly involved in a bar scuffle with rapper Drake last month. (Drake did not attend the awards show.)
Brown, who won the best male R&B artist award and the AOL Fandemonium award, also confused fans about his future plans while delivering an acceptance speech.
"I'd like to thank Team Breezy, everybody who worked on any one of my albums ... My last album that's coming out in two days. I just want to thank all my fans. It's dedicated to y'all," he said, causing many to think that his upcoming album, “Fortune,” would be his last. His reps later cleared that up, telling MTV that Brown was referring to “Fortune” as the last album he's made, and not a retirement from music.
Not to be outdone, the night's lead nominee, Kanye West, also turned heads, but more because of what he was wearing than because of a performance. West and his rumored girlfriend Kim Kardashian - who sat in the first row along with West, next to Jay-Z and Beyonce - showed up wearing matching white outfits.
Later, West and Jay-Z took the top award of the night, winning video of the year for "Otis." They also won best group.
D’Angelo - who is in the midst of a much-chronicled comeback - went before the live TV cameras for the first time in many years, singing the song that put him on the sex-symbol map, “Untitled.” His looks may have changed over the years, as many critics pointed out, but he still sounds very much the same.
The tear-jerking moment of the night was the emotional tribute to late pop diva Whitney Houston, whose own mother, gospel star Cissy Houston, sang “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to honor her. She was also feted by singing mentees Monica and Brandy, as well as friend and collaborator Mariah Carey.
Other performers and attendees included Big Sean, who won the best new artist award, Rick Ross and Jamie Foxx. Samuel L. Jackson hosted the ceremony. To see the full list of winners, visit BET.com.
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