Performances from top music stars Chris Brown, Usher and Rihanna couldn’t keep the ratings beat going for Black Entertainment Television’s BET Awards Show Tuesday night.
The African-American targeted network’s annual awards show, which honors the best performances in music, sports and movies, drew 5.8 million viewers—the smallest viewing audience for the eight-year old franchise since 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research. Last year’s show, which featured performances by Beyonce, 50 Cent and TI, drew more than 6.3 million viewers.
R&B and hip-hop stars such as Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole, Ne-Yo and T-Pain also performed during the more than three-hour-long telecast. The show also featured surprise cameo performances from 1990’s girl groups SWV, En Vogue and TLC.
Legendary R&B icon Al Green (pictured above)received BET's Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and thrilled the packed arena by performing two of his biggest 1970’s hits, Let’s Stay Together and Loveand Happiness.
Celebrated producer/arranger/composer Quincy Jones (right) was also honored with BET's prestigious Humanitarian Award for his outreach to young African-Americans through the Listen Up Foundation, a charity which connects youth with music, technology and culture. In addition, Jones helped launch the We Are the Future project, giving hope to children in poor and conflict-ridden areas.
The complete list of BET Awards winners include:
Best Female R&B Artist: Alicia Keys
Best Male R&B Artist: Chris Brown
Best Group: UGK
Best Gospel Artist: Marvin Sapp
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: Missy Elliott
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist: Kanye West
Video of the Year: UGK featuring Outkast, “International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)”
Best Video Director: Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto
Best Actress: Halle Berry
Best Actor: Denzel Washington
Female Athlete of the Year: Candace Parker
Male Athlete of the Year: Kobe Bryant
Best Collaboration: Kanye West featuring T-Pain, “Good Life”
Viewers’ Choice Award: Lil Wayne featuring Static, “Lollipop”
BET J Award: Raheem DeVaughn
Best New Artist: The-Dream