Who won video of the year again?
The BET Awards were barely about the actual awards as wild performances stole the night. They also didn’t present the top honor Sunday.
Janelle Monae ended the three and a half hour-plus event with a top notch performance of Q.U.E.E.N. alongside Erykah Badu, who brought a white poodle onstage. It was just one of the night’s best performances, which also featured stolen moments from a seductive Ciara, a slick Miguel, a random — but welcomed — reggae set and a playful Justin Timberlake with an even more playful Charlie Wilson.
Timberlake took a backseat to the soul singer, joining Wilson onstage for a medley of his solo and Gap Band hits.
Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg and India.Arie were also part of the tribute to 60-year-old Wilson, who earned the lifetime achievement award.
“Charlie Wilson is soul music. His impact colors the work of many artists, which is basically my nice way of saying I and a lot of other artists have stolen from him,” Timberlake said when presenting Wilson the award.
Wilson’s lively stage presence was arguably the night’s top moment, though others were on fire.
Ciara echoed Janet Jackson when she danced and sang her R&B hit Body Party, while Dawn Penn, Chaka Pliers, Beenie Man and Elephant Man electrified the audience when they gave a colorful performance of reggae classics.
Many artists played double or triple duty onstage at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Badu sang with Monae and Kendrick Lamar, who also performed with 2 Chainz. Miguel sang alone, and with Mariah Carey and J. Cole, while Minaj performed with Ciara and Chris Brown. Pharrell helped out Wilson and Robin Thicke, who excitedly performed his current No. 1 hit, Blurred Lines.
Drake, who didn’t attend the awards show, led with 12 nominations, though he won viewer’s choice and best collaboration for his appearance on A$AP Rocky’s F—in’ Problems with Lamar and 2 Chainz. Drake had five nominations for video of the year, which had 10 nominees.
Lamar, who along with 2 Chainz was the second most nominated act, won best new artist, male hip-hop artist and collaboration.
“Most importantly to my little home boys and my home girls back in the city, you looking at me on TV right now, I came up in that same county building, food stamps, welfare section eight … this is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to,” said 26-year-old Lamar, who is from Compton.