NEW YORK (Reuters) - Teenage Olympian Gabrielle Douglas, rapper Kendrick Lamar, actor Jamie Foxx as well as singers Rihanna and Nicki Minaj were among the top winners at the annual BET Awards on Sunday.
The BET Awards celebrate black musicians, actors and athletes. The program is televised on the cable TV network BET, Black Entertainment Television, part of Viacom Inc.
Lamar, who scored eight nominations, won the awards for best new artist and best male hip-hop artist at the 3-1/2 hour show at Hollywood’s Nokia Theater, which was hosted by actor and comedian Chris Tucker.
Speaking to “all my little homeboys and homegirls back in the city,” Lamar noted that he too came from a world of food stamps, welfare and public assistance housing.
“You’re looking me on TV right now. This is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to,” Lamar said.
Douglas, 17 and an Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, took home both the Young Stars award and the Sportswoman of the Year honor. “I‘m really shocked right now,” Douglas said after winning her second award of the night.
Drake’s “Started at the Bottom” won Video of the Year, one of the night’s top awards. He also won the Viewers’ Choice award.
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist went to Nicki Minaj for a fourth consecutive year. She said each time she wins, “it’s a humbling experience.”
Rihanna took home the prize for Best Female R&B Pop Artist, while Miguel won the Best Male R&B Pop Artist award.
Foxx, who starred in “Django Unchained,” was named Best Actor.
Foxx paid tribute to “acting gods” he had met during his life, including Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, as well as “Django Unchained” director Quentin Tarantino.
Kerry Washington of the television show “Scandals” won Best Actress.
The Sportsman of the Year honor went to NBA and Miami Heat star LeBron James, while another Heat player, Dwyane Wade, was presented with the humanitarian award as founder of the Wade’s World Foundation, aimed at helping at-risk children in underserved communities with educational, health and family service programs.
Veteran R&B singer and former Gap Band lead vocalist Charlie Wilson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Justin Timberlake, who performed alongside Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg in tribute to Wilson’s career.
The BET award for Best Movie went to the romantic comedy “Think Like a Man.”
Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were named Best Group, while Best Collaboration went to A$ap Rocky, featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Lamar, for “Problems.”
Mary Mary won the award for Best Gospel Artist, while Emeli Sande was named Best International Act. U.K. Best International Act: Africa was won by Ice Prince.
The show featured performances by a host of top performers including Robin Thicke, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Miguel, Ciara and Janelle Monae, who closed the awards joined by Erykah Badu.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Stacey Joyce