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BET AWARDS WINDS BACK
Broadcast Honors '90s Stars Along With Current Breakouts but Fails to Move Sales Needle

Last night's BET Awards celebrated the best of this year in music while adding some real 1990s nostalgia onstage, with a Bad Boy Records Reunion and Janet Jackson appearing in public for the first time in two years to receive the inaugural Ultimate Icon Music Dance Visual Award

The broadcast failed to move the sales needle; only rapper Kendrick Lamar experienced a slight retail bump. Meanwhile, the show saw 20% decline in viewership from 2014, with 6.3m tuning in.

← BET's Stephen Hill with Rihanna

Although Janet didn't perform, Ciara, Tinashe and Jason Derulo paid tribute to the star with dance routines channeling her classic "Rhythm Nation" and "All for You" videos.                       

Winners included  Beyoncé who was awarded with Best Female R&B/Pop Artist and Video of the Year for "7/11"; Chris Brown, who took home Male R&B/Pop; red hot newcomers Rae Sremmurd, who won for Best Group; Best Male Hip Hop Artist victor Kendrick Lamar; Nicki Minaj, notching her sixth consecutive Best Female Hip Hop Artist win; and Sam Smith, who took Best New Artist in absentia.

Quipped co-host Anthony Anderson, who donned a blue suit and a wig of Smith's signature coif to accept on the British warbler's behalf, "Sam Smith could not be here tonight because he's white, and he didn't think he would win at the BET Awards, but we showed him that we love him too." 

In another funny moment, superstar Rihanna appeared in a "Bitch Better Have My Money" skit on-air with BET President of Programming Stephen Hill, by feigning a backstage fight and throwing a huge wad of cash in his face

During the Bad Boy reunion celebrating the label's 20th year anniversary, Lil Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, 112 and The Lox joined CEO Diddy onstage to perform a medley of past hits with Notorious B.I.G. featured in a video montage as tribute. Puffy literally fell through a giant hole in the stage while performing and, true to form, got right back up and kept going.  Well, he did tell us that "he won't stop." 

Other performances included Kendrick Lamar, who opened the show by standing on top of a police car for a rousing performance of "Alright" that brought down the house; Janelle Monae and Jidenna teaming up for their smash "Classic Man" and through their dancers, inserting a clever nod to the historic “I Am a Man” civil rights-era protest signs; and Alicia Keys taking the stage with The Weeknd—which some social-media commentators saw as crashing—as he sang his Fifty Shades smash, "Earned It." 

Other winners included Smokey Robinson for Lifetime Achievement and Nicki Minaj, who won the fan-voted Viewers' Choice

Honoring Smokey Robinson: Tori Kelly onstage with Ne-Yo and Robin Thicke

Capitol's Silento with President and Chief Operating Officer of BET, Debra Lee

 

 

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