BET Awards honor Prince

Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:00am EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The BET Awards on Sunday were hosted by a Queen and honored a Prince, but it was a fallen star, Chris Brown, who surprised fans with a tearful tribute to the late King of Pop.

Alicia Keys, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj and current albums chart champ Drake were among the big winners at cable television network BET's annual salute to R&B and hip-hop stars, while Diddy, Kanye West, Eminem and El DeBarge wowed the audience with their performances.

Veteran funk-rocker Prince was given a lifetime achievement award at the show, which was hosted by comedian, actress and rapper Queen Latifah.

Prince watched in the audience as Stevie Wonder paid tribute in a video, and onstage Janelle Monae gave an energetic rendition of his "Let's Go Crazy" while disco diva Patti Labelle pumped out a rousing "Purple Rain."

Wearing white trousers and turtleneck, Prince took the stage, thanked the crowd and said, "I do believe the future is in good hands, I've seen so much talent here tonight.

"I was pretty wild in my younger days and you don't have to do what I do," he said, with a smile. "You don't have to make any of the mistakes that I made. The future is in your hands."

The night's top honor, BET's viewers choice award, went to Rihanna and Young Jeezy for their song, "Hard."

Keys, who also performed a Prince song, took home two trophies for R&B female singer and best collaboration for smash hit, "Empire State of Mind," sung with Jay-Z.   Continued...

<p>Rock and pop star Prince accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award from presenter Chaka Khan at the 2010 BET Awards in Los Angeles June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>