Kevin Hart kept the crowd laughing out loud as a Hollywood House Husband during the BET Awards '11 opening act with Bobby Brown, Jermaine Dupri, Anthony Anderson, Nelly and Nick Cannon.
Chris Brown's powerful performance medley of "She Ain't You," "Look at Me Now," and "Paper Scissor Rock" illustrated just why he was named the 2011 Best Male R&B Artist, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration, and Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award winner when he took to the stage in two performances collaborating with Busta Rhymes and Big Sean.
Later, a precocious Justin Bieber propositioned Nicki Minaj on stage when he said, "I'm all grown up now. I turn 18 next year so...what's up?"
Legendary songstress and diva extraordinaire Patti LaBelle was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and her tribute was a performance unlike anything ever seen before.
Beginning with a special introduction from another musical icon, Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green took to the stage in a throwback Patti LaBelle costume performing "Somebody Loves You Baby," while Marsha Ambrosius jazzed up the room with her spot on rendition of "If Only You Knew," before the great Shirley Caesar took the crowd — and Patti LaBelle — to tears singing "You Are My Friend."
But it was Patti herself that brought the house down performing two of her greatest hits, "Love, Need and Want You" and "Lady Marmalade." Steve Harvey uplifted the audience in his acceptance speech for his Humanitarian Award.
The cast of the Five Heartbeats movie surprised the audience with a reunited performance with R&B crooners After 7 with the famous hit, "Nights Like This," for the 20-year anniversary of the film.
The beautiful Kerry Washington graced the stage for BET's Shine A Light moment to honour individuals who make the world a better place for young people.
Celebrating the 10-year Anniversary of her first album, Songs In A Minor, Alicia Keys graced the BET Awards '11 stage for a medley of her hits with Bruno Mars and Rick Ross as well as for the world premiere her latest song, "Typewriter."
Additional highlights of the 14 performances include: Trey Songz sexy, shirt-ripping rendition of "Making Love Faces" and "Unusual," and was later joined by Kelly Rowland to perform her smash hit, "Motivation"; Donnie McClurkin, Deitrick Haddon and Mary Mary uplifted the audience with their rendition of the gospel hit, "Thank You Lord," in tribute to the late Walter Hawkins; Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, DJ Khaled, and Jadakiss kicked off the show with a monumental mix of hits "All Night Long," "Joy," "Happy," Dreams," "Real Love," "Rapture," and "Over Til It's Over"; Jill Scott performed a soulful rendition of "Rolling Hills" with actor and DJ Idris Elba; DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Drake and Lil' Wayne amped the crowd performing "I'm the One"; and Beyonce closed the show singing "Best Thing I Never Had" and "End of Time" via live telecast from Britain's Glastonbury Festival.
This year's In Memoriam tribute celebrated the lives of Cali Swag District member M-Bone, Clarence Clemons, Teena Marie, Gil Scott Heron and Nate Dogg with performances and appearances by Doug E. Fresh and Cali Swag District, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Scott Mayo, Snoop Dogg and Warren G.
In continuing the good that BET's S.O.S.: Saving Ourselves initiative has made over the years, the BET Awards '11 contained a special moment to show support for the victims of the tornadoes in the Southeast through a special message from Rev. Al Sharpton.
Best Female R&B Artist
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Best Male R&B Artist
Cee Lo Green
Cali Swag District
B.o.B f/ Hayley Williams – "Airplanes"
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – "Look at Me Now"
Chris Brown f/ Tyga & Kevin McCall – "Deuces"
Waka Flocka Flame f/ Roscoe Dash & Wale – "No Hands"
Rihanna f/ Drake – "What's My Name?"
Kanye West f/ Rihanna – "All of the Lights"
Video of the Year
Marsha Ambrosius – "Far Away"
B.o.B. f/ Hayley Williams of Paramore – "Airplanes"
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – "Look at Me Now"
Keri Hilson – "Pretty Girl Rock"
Willow Smith – "Whip My Hair"
Kanye West f/ Pusha T – "Runaway"
Video Director of the Year
Best New Artist
Karen Clark Sheard
BeBe & CeCe Winans
Taraji P. Henson
Death at a Funeral
For Colored Girls
The Book of Eli
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?
Sportswoman of the Year
Sportsman of the Year
Viewer's Choice Award
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – "Look at Me Now"
Lil Wayne f/ Cory Gunz – "6 Foot 7 Foot"
Mindless Behavior – "My Girl"
Nicki Minaj f/ Drake – "Moment 4 Life"
Rihanna f/ Drake – "What's My Name"
Trey Songz f/ Nicki Minaj – "Bottoms Up"
Best International Act: U.K.
Best International Act: Africa
2Face Idibia (Nigeria)
Angelique Kidjo (Benin)
Fally Ipupa (Congo DR)
Teargas (South Africa)
About the BET Awards
The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment over the past year.
The awards are presented annually, and they are broadcast live on BET.
BET commissioned Artist/Sculptor and Hip Hop culture icon Carlos Mare139 Rodriguez to design the Award sculpture.
The BET Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian Award recipients, along with the nominees for other categories are announced in a press conference. At the awards ceremony a mini-documentary is shown covering the honorees' life. The awards are given out separately.
The BET Lifetime Achievement Award is given a veteran artist or group who has made notable contributions to the music industry. The honoree is paid tribute to by current popular singers who perform the honoree's most recognized songs. The honoree will usually perform themselves after being paid tribute.
In 2002, at the second annual BET Awards, the category for the BET Award Humanitarian Award was created. The Humanitarian Award is given to a celebrity philanthropist who donates their time and money to a charitable cause.