BET Awards Full of Surprises -- Some Hot, Some Not
Taped live from L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium and hosted by comedian Damon Wayans, the evening was kicked off on a high note by Beyoncé and Jay-Z performing their new song "Déjà Vu."
Though Mr. and Mrs. Knowles may not have been particularly amused by Hov's backside-smacking antics, viewers at home may have been more troubled by the technical troubles -- beginning with the abrupt segue from Chamillionaire's "106 and Park Live from the Red Carpet" performance into the BET opening number and continuing with some onscreen flickering.
Technical issues also plagued the second performance - after being announced by boxing promoter Don King, Best Male Hip-Hop Artist winner, T.I. was forced to do "What You Know" acapella when the Shrine sound system failed him.
The first awards presentation of the evening went off without a hitch - with the cast of "Good Times" including Jimmie Walker, Bernadette Stanis, Ralph Carter and Janet Jackson sharing a brief reunion before announcing Missy Elliott as winner in the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist category. Elliott was unable to accept her award, surprising since she later surfaced to join Busta Rhymes in his performance of the "Touch It" remix.
Elliott and Rhymes were each nominated for four awards this year and while Elliott scored one, Busta ended up with none. Rhymes still turned out what was arguably the hottest hip-hop performance of the evening, when he performed "I Love My Chick" with will.i.am and Kelis and the "Touch It" remix with Missy, Rah Digga, Mary J. Blige, Lloyd Banks and surprise guest Eminem - who emerged from the floor for his first performance since his stint in rehab, brief marriage and divorce and the tragic murder of best friend Proof. Busta dedicated the performance to slain bodyguard Israel Ramirez.
Other performances included songs from Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole and Ne-Yo, a Hurricane Katrina tribute from gospel duo Mary Mary and Yung Joc who got the crowd moving to a lip synched version of "It's Goin' Down" flanked by Diddy himself.
Jamie Foxx slipped songstress Fantasia some tongue during their performance, Chris Brown did back flips for the audience after being joined by Lil Wayne for his number and an all-star tribute to Lifetime Achievement award winner Chaka Khan included Stevie Wonder, Prince, India.Arie and Yolanda Adams who were later joined by Ms. Khan for the end of their Chaka-medley. The evening would prove to be a big one for Prince who also picked up the Best Male R&B Award and closed the evening with a performance of "3121."
Outkast presented the final award of the evening "Best Video" which resulted in a tie between Kanye West and Jamie Foxx's "Gold Digger" and Blige video "Be Without You." West, Foxx and Blige each picked up two awards for the evening, as did Best New Artist Chris Brown, who accepted his Viewers Choice Award with Ne-Yo at his side.
For a complete list of the 2006 BET Award winners please visit www.bet.com. The show will re-air this Friday, June 30 on BET.