Rapper West Scoops Two BET Awards
Kanye West and hip-hop group UGK have won two awards each at this year's Black Entertainment TV (BET) awards. West took home the prize for best male hip-hop artist and best collaboration for Good Life, which featured T-Pain. UGK was named best group and also won video of the year for International Player's Anthem (I Choose You) featuring Outkast. Alicia Keys and Chris Brown took top honours in the R&B artist categories at the ceremony in Los Angeles. 'Blessed' Missy Elliott scooped the award for female hip-hop artist, Marvin Sapp took best gospel artist, while the prize for best new artist went to the Dream. Awards were handed out to Halle Berry and Denzel Washington in the acting categories. Lil Wayne picked up the best new rap artist award, which was voted for by viewers. Picking up one of his awards on stage, West told the crowd they were "blessed" to be in the presence of fellow rapper T-Pain, who was nominated for five awards for his work with other artists. After tributes by Jill Scott and Maxwell, lifetime achievement award winner Al Green performed a medley of his songs, including Let's Stay Together and Love and Happiness. Speaking backstage at the Shrine Auditorium, he said: "I'm sorry I didn't sing as well as I could. I got scared." Queen Latifah introduced humanitarian award recipient Quincy Jones, calling the producer "an international artist, an innovator and a leader". She added: "He showed us black entertainment is more than just a hustle. It's more than just selling albums. It's about inspiration." Political messages As he picked up his prize Jones said receiving the award was "one of the very treasured moments of my life". Some artists chose to use the event to pass on political messages to the crowd. "If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America," Sean "Diddy" Combs said, referring to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Keys told the crowd she thought it was time for black people to erase the word "can't" from their vocabulary. "Together we can do anything," she said playing on the Democrat's "Yes We Can" mantra before shouting: "Obama y'all". BET organiser Stephen Hill said they had been hoping Obama would attend the event. "We would've loved it if he would've stopped by," he said.
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