BET Awards: Chris Brown hints at retirement, wins top R&B; prize

Chris Brown accepts the award for best male R&B; artist at the BET Awards.
(Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)
By Todd Martens

This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Spike Lee rapped, D’Angelo continued his comeback and Chris Brown hinted at retirement at the 2012 BET Awards, broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium. Brown, in the news of late for a purported brawl in a New York nightclub with rap star Drake, won best male R&B artist at the ceremony and told the crowd that “Fortune,” his album due out Tuesday, will be his “last.”

Kanye West and the artists associated with his label G.O.O.D. Music opened the show with a heavily bleeped performance of “Mercy” and “Way Too Cold.” West then went into an extended freestyle, comparing himself to Miami Heat star LeBron James, and referenced a host of current events, with nods to the late Whitney Houston and Rodney King.

“Went from being the most hated to the God flow,” West rapped. “I guess that’s a feeling only me and LeBron know.” Samuel L. Jackson and Lee then did a comedic take on "... In Paris,” West’s hit with Jay-Z.


A full rundown of the BET Awards will be posted this evening on Pop & Hiss. Tonight’s show is notable for being one of the first televised performances from adventurous R&B star D’Angelo, who has a July 4 show at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.

D’Angelo perform his 2000 song “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” and also performed what appeared to be a new song. A new album, recorded with Roots drummer Questlove, is hinted at being released this fall.

Beyonce was named best female R&B artist. Nicki Minaj won best female hip-hop artist. West and Jay-Z won the award for best group, which recognized their collaboration on the 2011 album “Watch the Throne.”

Kevin Hart -- who hosted the awards last year -- won for best actor, Big Sean was named best new artist and Wale and Miguel’s smooth hit “Lotus Flower Bomb” won best collaboration.

West, who was up for seven awards, was the top nominee. Beyonce had six and her husband Jay-Z five.

Usher performed his ballad “Climax,” and Minaj sported a blond wig with pink tips as she performed the songs “Champion” and “Beez in the Trap,” which featured 2 Chainz.

Yolanda Adams, who also performed, won best gospel artist.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report


[For the Record: 11:13 a.m. July 5: An earlier edition of this post referred to the Kanye West and Jay-Z hit "... In Paris” as "... In Paradise.”]