The BET Awards kicked off another summer with a not-to-be-missed show at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, highlighting some of the best and honoring the greatest in the arts, sports and philanthropy.
For the second year in a row, comedians and actors Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer returned as hosts and Outkast won the Best Group award. The old honored the new, and got '80s babies up on their feet, when New Edition stepped on the stage as presenters. Crowd favorite, and "U Don't Have to Call" performer, Usher sang his way off stage with the Best Male R&B Artist award and Alicia Keys, who had a huge breakout year, proved she had little competition in the Best New Artist category. No one could stop from falling for the girl on the piano.
Nelly brought his own fire on stage during his “Hot in Herre” performance and legends of R&B and the boxing ring were saluted with song. From Alicia Keys to Jill Scott, the ladies performed like champions during a tribute to Muhammad Ali, who won the Humanitarian Award for his fight against poverty and hunger. Earth, Wind & Fire reminded everyone of the reason they deserved the Lifetime Achievement Award with their tribute performance of "Reasons" and "Let's Groove."
Before the night ended, the BET Awards remembered two of music’s fallen angels: Aaliyah and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died August 25, 2001 in a plane crash and April 25, 2002 in Honduras in a car crash, respectively.