Rapper Kanye West wins two prizes at BET Awards

Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:42am EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rap star Kanye West picked up two prizes on Tuesday at the BET Awards, an event honoring black recording artists, actors and athletes, while Alicia Keys was one of several stars who used the occasion to salute presidential contender Barack Obama.

The only other multiple winner was the hip-hop duo UGK, consisting of Bernard "Bun B" Freeman and the recently deceased Chad "Pimp C" Butler. In all 15 awards were handed out during a three-hour show mixing the heroes of contemporary hip-hop and old-school R&B.

Keys, flying high with a successful worldwide tour, a chart-topping album and an upcoming film, shared the stage with three leading female ensemble acts from the 1990s -- TLC, En Vogue and Sisters with Voices -- for a medley of R&B music.

She went on to win the prize for best female R&B artist, and offered a heartfelt endorsement to Obama, who would be the first African-American elected to the nation's highest office.

"Together we can do anything -- Obama, y'all!" she enthused.

Teen sensation Chris Brown, who topped the U.S. singles chart last year with "Kiss Kiss," was named best male R&B performer.


The evening's most spine-tingling moment came when veteran soul crooner Al Green, recipient of a lifetime achievement award, got the audience in the Shrine Auditorium on its feet singing, and dancing, along with his classic 1970s hit "Let's Stay Together."   Continued...

<p>Kanye West (R) accepts the award for best collaboration for "Good Life " with T-Pain at the 2008 BET Awards in Los Angeles June 24, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>