June 25, 2008 02:36:48 GMT
Chris Brown was the first to be handed the network's award, taking Best Male R 'n' B Artist.
The annual BET Awards has announced its early winners this year that include among others, "With You" crooner Chris Brown who grabbed the first handed award, Best Male R 'n' B Artist. The 19-year-old who was seated next to his rumored girlfriend Rihanna stood up to take the prize and said on his acceptance speech, thanking "my mom, God, everybody. If I leave y'all out, I'm sorry."
Missy Elliott who was a no-show was given the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, beating Lil Mama, Trina, Eve and Kid Sister along the way. Best New Artist was handed to The-Dream while Male Athlete of the Year belonged to basketball star Kobe Bryant. The list of winners are still halfway to be announced and the highly-anticipated performance of Lil Wayne on his smash hit "Lollipop" will close the night. Veteran musician Al Green will be given BET's Lifetime Achievement Award and Quincy Jones is slated to receive Humanitarian Award for his effort in Listen Up Foundation.
Hosted by comedian D.L. Hughley, the awards show that honors the achievement of black people in several fields including sports, movie and music was held at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 24. Usher opened the show with his charting hit "Love in This Club" which performance can be seen on the video posted below. Keyshia Cole was next to perform, giving a slow down to Usher's energetic piece by singing her ballad "Heaven Sent".