The temperature may have been over 100 degrees in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, but it was nothing compared to the heat coming to the BET Awards '13.
Kendrick Lamar and Tamar Braxton woke up early to announce the nominees. Drake leads the pack with 12 nods (including Best Male Hip Hop Artist and Video of the Year), followed by K. Dot and 2 Chainz with eight nominations apiece. Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake snagged four nominations each, and Braxton herself is up for Best Female R&B Artist and the Centric award for her single "Love and War."
After the nominees were announced, BET Director of Music Programming & Specials Stephen Hill introduced this year's host, Chris Tucker, along with Chris Brown, who is confirmed to perform. Legendary hit maker Charlie Wilson also joined the group. The singer will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I'm excited to be nominated for my first BET Award," said Lamar. "I'm still fairly new at all this, so an award of any caliber means a lot to me."
"The theme of the show is 'anything can happen,'" added Tucker, who had the crowd erupting in laughter with his impression of Chris Brown. "We're gonna have a great time on June 30."
BET executive Hill explained the reason behind this year's unprecedented BET Experience three-day event. "We just wanted to make official something that has been organic," he said. "For many years I've been hearing people talking about coming out to L.A. for the BET weekend, even if they weren't going to the awards show. So we just brought it all together."
"I don't want to give away too much, but I'm definitely gonna be doing something new and original," teased Brown when asked what audiences can expect from his performance this year. It will be his sixth time hitting the stage at the BET Awards. "I'm not so much into theatrics, but it's all about giving the fans what they want."
Though he wouldn't give away any more details about his performance, Breezy did reveal that his top-secret collabo for his new album, X, due out this summer, is none other than the late R&B siren Aaliyah. Brown will be sampling her never-before-heard vocals for his track "They Don't Know."
Breezy also gave deets about the video for the track, shot in Kendrick Lamar's old 'hood, Compton, California. "I shot it in the 'hood," Brown told reporters. "I went to 60th Street and Cedar Block. [I'm] bringing both worlds together and trying to uplift the poverty side of the community and show them where I'm from. I'm from Virginia, but everybody comes from a broken home or being broke. I remember when I was."
For a complete list of nominees, click here. Tune in to the BET Awards '13 on Sunday, June 30.
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(Photo: Maury Phillips/Getty Images for BET)