HipHopWired Featured Video
CLOSE

The 2009 Annual BET Awards were held last night recognizing the best in Black Entertainment at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. While the yearly star studded recognition honors were on point as usual, last night’s was a lot more special as it also served as a home going service celebrating the late “King of Pop” Michael Jackson who passed last Thursday at the age of 50. It was only one star in the packed house last night and everyone in attendance bowed down to his immortalized spirit and paid homage.

Opening the show was a clip from the 2003 BET Awards showing Michael Jackson and James Brown performing on stage together. The show then kicked off with a tribute from New Edition led by a medley of Jackson Five hits. Following that, the host for the night Jamie Foxx came out dressed head to toe like the “king Of Pop.” While in a shiny red jacket, tight black high-waters and a glittery glove, he broke out into a high energy performance of “Beat It.” Following his performance Jamie tried to keep the mood light and reminded the crowd to celebrate Michael’s life with one of the realest statements of the night. “No need to be sad,” he said. “We want to celebrate this Black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everyone else.”

Other artists did their best to pay homage to Michael all while presenters like Tyra Banks rushed through award presentations without the usual list of the nominees. Keri Hilson incorporated tight high water jeans and a glove into her performance of “Turning Me On” and “Knock You Down.” Michael’s voice was also on hand last night as it was reincarnated through Ne-Yo who nailed the Gloved One’s “Lady In My Life.” Patriarch Joe was also on hand for tear jerking celebration.

In addition, The O’Jays were presented with BET’s Lifetime Achievement award while Trey Songs, Tevin Campbell, Johnny Gill and Tyrese performed a medley of their songs before they hit the stage to sang them as only they can. The Mighty Mighty O’Jays also shared some of their experiences with “Young Michael” as they fondly refereed to him. The O’Jays Eddie Levert even described Michael as “dancing around and sh%t” during his speech in a moment that made people laugh and sensors angry that they missed yet another word.

Hip-Hop’s elite were also on hand paying tribute and thanking M.J. for his inspirations. Jay-Z performed his latest single “Death Of Auto-Tune” while Lil’ Wayne introduced Drake and Young Money to the world with their live performance of “Every Girl.” Wayne also took home the “Best Male Hip-Hop” artist award while an incarcerated T.I. won “The Viewer’s Choice” award which was accepted by his girlfriend Tameka “Tiny” Cottle.

In the shining moment of the night just before it ended, Jamie Foxx held the hand of a woman dressed in all white walking with her head down across the stage. As the camera panned closer, it became apparent that the woman was none other than Janet Jackson. In an emotional moment that brought members of the audience to tears, Janet spoke. “To you he’s an icon,” she said. “To us he’s family and he will forever live in all of our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much. Thank you so much.”

With those words she was gone. Although Janet left the stage, her presence and sorrow was felt as Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo performed one last tribute to Michael, a soulful and sweet rendition of “I’ll Be There” with a picture of Michael in the background. Much props BET for giving “The King” a royal send off.

Here’s the complete list of winners for the 2009 BET Awards:

• Video of the Year: Beyonce Knowles – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

• Best Male R&B Artist: Ne-Yo

• Best Female R&B Artist: Beyonce Knowles

• Best Male Hip-Hop Artist: Lil Wayne

• Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: M.I.A.

• Best Group: DAY26

• Best New Artist: Keri Hilson

• Viewer’s Choice: T.I. feat. Rihanna – “Live Your Life”

• Best Collaboration: Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain – “Blame It”

• Video Director of the Year: Benny Boom

• Centric Award: Jazmine Sullivan

• Best Gospel Artist: Mary Mary

• Best Actor: Will Smith

• Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson

• Best Male Athlete: LeBron James

• Best Female Athlete: Serena Williams

• Humanitarian Award: Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean

• Lifetime Achievement Award: The O’Jays

MORE FROM HIP-HOP WIRED