News

Pharrell, Nicki Minaj lead BET Award winners

Pharrell, Nicki Minaj lead BET Award winners

AWARD WINNER:Pharrell Williams accepts the award for best male R&B/pop artist during the 2014 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California June 29. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – R&B star Pharrell, rapper Nicki Minaj and newcomer August Alsina led the winners at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards on Sunday, which also honored veteran soul singer Lionel Richie.

Pharrell kicked off the show with “Come Get It Bae” and won two awards, including best male R&B/pop artist. Beyonce was named best female R&B/pop singer, and closed the show with a sultry performance of “Partition” with husband Jay Z. The couple also won best collaboration for “Drunk In Love.”

Richie, 65, received the lifetime achievement award for his prolific career as part of Motown group The Commodores and as a solo artist.

“Soul is a feeling, not a color. Talent is a god given gift and not a category, and out of the box is the magical place where true talent goes to thrive and breathe,” Richie said as he accepted the award.

John Legend, Ledisi and Yolanda performed Richie’s classic love songs “Hello”, “Still” and The Commodores’ “Brick House” and “Jesus is Love”. Richie sang “Easy” and “All Night Long”.

The BET awards, held in Los Angeles, celebrates black musicians, actors and athletes. It is hosted by cable TV network Black Entertainment Television, part of Viacom Inc., and the show was preceded by violence at unofficial parties ahead of the show in which one person was killed.

New Orleans singer Alsina was named best new artist and Lil Wayne’s rap collective Young Money scored best group.

Drake won best male hip hop artist, but was not available to collect his award. Minaj was named best female hip hop artist and threw a little dig at other rappers by saying: “When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it.”

Comedian Chris Rock hosted the show, throwing jokes and jibes and handing out chicken and waffles to the audience. The almost four-hour ceremony toplined high-profile performances from some of the music world’s biggest names.

Usher referenced his 20-year career with a medley of his hits, Minaj performed “Pills N’ Potions” on a stage with giant psychedelic mushrooms and R&B star Chris Brown joined Lil Wayne to perform “Loyal”.

Australian newcomer Iggy Azalea joined rapper T.I. to perform “No Mediocre” and her hit single “Fancy”. The show also served up 1990s nostalgia with R&B groups Troop, Color Me Badd and Silk singing a medley of classic hits.

Oscar-winning historical drama “12 Years A Slave” swept the film categories with Oscar-winning newcomer Lupita Nyong’o named best actress and Chiwetel Ejiofor named best actor. Neither were on hand to accept their awards.

Civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams accepted the humanitarian award commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act signed into law in 1964.

Sportswoman and sportsman of the year went to tennis star Serena Williams and basketball player Kevin Durant respectively.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé

Best Male R&B/ Pop Artist
Pharrell Williams

Best Group
Young Money

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé featuring Jay Z – “Drunk in Love”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Drake

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Video Director of the Year
Hype Williams

Best New Artist
August Alsina

Best Gospel Artist
Tamela Mann

Best Actress
Lupita Nyong’o

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor

YoungStars Award
KeKe Palmer

Best Movie
“12 Years a Slave”

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Serena Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Kevin Durant

Centric Award
Jhene Aiko – “The Worst”

Best International Act: Africa
Davido (Nigeria)

Best International Act: UK
Krept & Konan.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

rainman

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Music

This week’s top pop songs

markronson

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

Angelina Jolie crowned world’s top feminist icon

Angelina Jolie arrives at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson top the list of the world's foremost feminist icons.

in Entertainment, National

Celebrities protest new Indiana law

George Takei poses for a portrait at Quaker Good Energy Lodge with GenArt and the Collective , during the Sundance Film Festival, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

Celebrities call for an Indiana boycott after the passing of a controversial law that could lead to discrimination against gay couples.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘It Follows’ is the best American horror film in a decade

In this image released by Brigade Marketing, actress Maika Monroe appears in a scene of It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell. “It Follows,” has been arguably the buzziest American film at Cannes next to Bennett Miller’s wrestling drama “Foxcatcher,” which boasts a far more famous cast and a major premiere at the Palais des Festival.

"It Follows" is a horror movie worthy of classic comparisons.