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Brown received the first award of the night, best male R&B artist.
“All my fans are everything to me,” he said in accepting the award. “I know it’s been a long road. I just appreciate every blessing that’s been put in front of me.”
The scandal-prone singer has had a rough couple of years. Just last week, he retreated from comments in which he used the word “gay” as an insult. He also was forced to apologize for a meltdown on the Good Morning America set earlier this year.
Brown also accepted the award for best collaboration for “Look at Me Now” featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. He performed the song with Rhymes during the show.
Also during the live telecast, there was a huge gaffe that resulted in the wrong name being called for the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award. A fan who was presenting first read Brown’s name, then changed to Rihanna and Drake, the latter of whom called the situation “awkward” while on stage.
But after the show ended, BET then tweeted that Brown actually was the winner of the award for “Look at Me Now.”
Brown won another fan-voted award as well, the FANdemonium award. He led all nominees going into Sunday night’s show with a total of six noms, followed by Lil Wayne with five.
Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj was named best female hip-hop artist, while Kanye West took the trophy in the male category. West wasn’t in attendance, so Justin Bieber accepted on his behalf.
Wiz Khalifa was named best new artist, beating J. Cole,?Willow Smith,?Bruno Mars and?Miguel?Wiz.
Meanwhile, the YoungStars Award resulted in a tie, given to brother and sister Jaden and Willow Smith, children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Willow Smith wore a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air T-shirt in a nod to her dad’s breakout TV role.
Other winners included Michael Vick and Serena Williams, named best sportsman and sportswoman of the year.
Before the ceremony began, singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius accepted the Centric Award from the red carpet.
Also during the show, Patti LaBelle received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Cee-Lo Green dressed up as LaBelle and sang her song “Somebody Loves You”; Beyonce, Gladys Knight, Shirley Ceasar and Ambrosius also took part in the tribute.
“When anyone asks me who I want to be like, I always say Patti LaBelle,” Beyonce told the audience.
In addition, Steve Harvey was presented with the State Farm Humanitarian Award. In his acceptance speech, he said the award was a testament to God and his power, as well as his own mother.
The night also featured performances from Blige and Anita Baker; Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled and Ace Hood; Alicia Keys and Bruno Mars; Jill Scott and Trey Songz; and Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary and Deitrick Haddon.
Comedian Kevin Hart hosted the awards show, which aired live on BET.
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