Showbiz veterans Smokey Robinson and Janet Jackson receive huge standing ovations at BET Awards in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 28, 2015) (BET NETWORKS) – Hip Hop star Kendrick Lamar, R&B singer Chris Brown, and rapper Nicki Minaj led the winners at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards on Sunday (June 28), which also honored veteran soul singer Smokey Robinson and Janet Jackson.
Lamar was named best male hip hop artist, while Nicki Minaj took home the same prize for female artist, and Chris Brown took home the trophy for best male R&B/pop artist.
Minaj brought her mother on stage while accepting her first award. She would later win the viewer’s choice award for the song “Only,” winning along with Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown.
“I just wanted to really bring my mommy up, because I always talk about my mommy, and this is the first time the world gets to see her, and mommy, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me. I love you so much,” said Minaj, accepting the best female hip hop artist prize.
While accepting the “Fandemonium” award, Chris Brown also referenced his tumultuous private life, including the recent birth of his baby daughter.
“A lot has changed in my life, a lot of mistakes, a lot of lessons learned, the best thing I’m most thankful for is my daughter. So, at the end of the day, love is love, I love everybody,” said Brown, who has had years of legal troubles following probation offenses relating to his assault of former girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.
Some of the nights biggest stars, however, were veterans of showbiz.
Smokey Robinson, who was treated with a medley of his greatest hits from guest artists, received a standing ovation while receiving his lifetime achievement award.
“You have sustained me for all these years, and you keep making it brand new, you have made it brand new for me here tonight, once again, and I thank you, Debra, and BET, because this is so special for me,” said Robinson.
And Janet Jackson, who has been removed from the public eye for many years, received a huge applause while accepting her “Icon” award, and thanked her fans, her husband, and her family.
“My heart is so full, thank you god, for making everything, anything possible. I’m so grateful for the support you’ve always given me, to my beautiful mother and my beautiful father, and to my entire family, your love is unbreakable,” said Jackson, whose parents, Katherine Jackson and Joe Jackson, were seated in the audience. “And last but not least, to my loving husband. And to all the fans. I have missed you so much, and I love you so much, thank you. Thank you, BET.”
Politics and current events also made a couple appearances at the BET Awards, with mentions of the mass shooting of nine African Americans at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the U.S. supreme court’s landmark gay marriage decision.
“We’d like to take a moment to send our prayers and strength to our people from Charleston, South Carolina, who have endured but are prevailing over a horrific act of domestic terrorism. But because of that amazing resilience, and forgiveness of that community, the acts of that madman are having the exact opposite effect that he intended. All over South Carolina, love is triumphing over hate, the way it should,” said Michael B. Jordan, on the church shooting in South Carolina.
“We are so happy tonight, we’re standing here, and together, we celebrate the supreme court decision, that all people can love whoever you want, and you can even get married,” said singer Patti Labelle, of the U.S. supreme court’s gay marriage decision, announced Friday (June 26).
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. It was hosted this year by “Black-ish” stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross.