Kanye, UGK Head BET Awards Winners' Circle
New school and old school hip-hop both shared the wealth as Kanye West and UGK earned two awards each at the BET Awards last night (June 24) at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium.New school and old school hip-hop both shared the wealth as Kanye West and UGK earned two awards each at the BET Awards last night (June 24) at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium.
Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, The Dream and Missy Elliott were among the additional music winners during the annual ceremony.
West displayed his magnanimous side when he brought platinum-debuting colleague Lil Wayne to the stage while accepting the statuette for best male hip-hop artist.
"This is my fiercest competition," said West, who is equally well-known for his outbursts over not winning industry awards. "Congratulations on selling 1 million ... and they say hip-hop is dead." West also took home the best collaboration award for "Good Life" featuring T-Pain.
UGK claimed honors for best group and video of the year for "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)" featuring OutKast. Backstage, UGK member Bun B described the video shoot as one of the "best days I'll remember for the rest of my life." Accompanied by deceased member Pimp C's widow, he also talked about the duo's chart success with its last project, the 2007 double album "Underground Kingz." Noted Bun B, "If you keep it real, people will come out and support."
Keys' win as best female R&B artist was paralleled by Missy Elliott's as best female hip-hop artist. Brown was named best male R&B artist, while Marvin Sapp claimed best gospel artist. And the current songwriter/producer-turned-artist trend came full circle with the-Dream being awarded best new artist.
Hosted by comedian D.L. Hughley, BET Awards '08 was packed with high-energy performances. Opening the proceedings was Usher with "Love in This Club." One of the evening's "oh-wow" moments was Keys accompanying girl group faves SWV, En Vogue and TLC on several of their hits. Also turning in captivating performances were Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, Nelly and Marvin Sapp.
Returning to the national stage for the first time in five years, singer Maxwell joined Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton in a moving tribute to lifetime achievement honoree Al Green. Green, in turn, brought the house to its feet with a riveting performance of "Let's Stay Together" and "Love and Happiness." Industry icon and social activist Quincy Jones was presented with the humanitarian award.