Houston honored, Kanye, Jay-Z win top award
Cissy Houston performs during the in memoriam to her daughter Whitney Houston at the BET Awards on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Cissy Houston's tribute to her late daughter was the emotional highlight of Sunday's BET Awards, a show that was defined by extended bleeps and the vulgarities that censors failed to catch onstage throughout the night.
Whitney Houston's mother gave a rousing performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" that left the crowd in tears, including Beyonce and Melanie Fiona.
Beyonce accepts the award for best female R& B at the BET Awards on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Mariah Carey opened the tribute with memories of her friend. She was followed by a moving number by Monica. Brandy, heavily influenced by Houston, sang two of the late singer's hits. Chaka Khan blazed the stage with "I'm Every Woman," which Houston remade. Gary Houston, Whitney's brother, also performed.
But the nearly four-hour BET Awards was more like the Bleep Awards, as entire segments of performances from Nicki Minaj to Rick Ross were muted out due to foul language.
Chris Brown performs at the BET Awards on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
It started during the opening number by Kanye West's G.O.O.D. music group, which included Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. There were long moments of censored silence when the rappers performed "Mercy," though not all the offending words were bleeped out. Moments later, Samuel L. Jackson, the show's host, was joined by Spike Lee as they did a comedic version of Jay-Z and West's hit song "... In Paris," to laughs.