It was a non-stop standing ovation for Michael Jackson and his legendary career at the BET AWARDS ’09, as host Jamie Foxx and a legion of A-list stars paid tribute to the King of Pop with special performances, emotional testimonials about what Jackson meant to them, and a beautiful, colorful set featuring images and montages of the star. The BET AWARDS ’09 celebrated Jackson and today’s brightest stars in music, sports and entertainment at Los Angeles’ historic Shrine Auditorium during a once-in-a-lifetime evening full of unforgettable moments on Sunday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m.*
From the minute the BET AWARDS ’09 started, the audience was on its feet immediately. Set against a backdrop of images of the Jackson 5, New Edition – Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Michael Bivens, Rickey Bell, Ronnie DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant – reunited for a rousing performance of Jackson 5 songs, including “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save.”
Foxx – clad in a classic Michael Jackson outfit of a red leather jacket and one glove – opened the show and set the perfect tone with a stage-long moonwalk and a hilarious, poignant monologue emphasizing Jackson’s contributions to the music industry and pop culture.
Keri Hilson also channeled her inner Michael by donning his “Bad” outfit to perform her hit songs “Turnin’ Me On” and “Knock You Down.” Ne-Yo slowed it down with a powerful rendition of Jackson’s “Lady in My Life,” while Jamie Foxx and T-Pain got everyone dancing for “Blame It,” bringing onstage surprise guest performers Snoop Dogg and Travis Barker.
In a breathtaking performance of her ballad “Ave Maria” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” Beyonce had the crowd mesmerized. Ciara also captivated the crowd singing Jackson’s “Heal the World,” and Mary Mary and Queen Latifah teamed up for a stirring performance of “God in Me.” Keyshia Cole and Monica collaborated on the beautiful song “Trust,” and Soulja Boy performed his hit “Turn My Swag On.”
Ne-Yo returned to the stage for one of the most electrifying performances of the night, putting on a medley with some of his favorite stars, including: Keith Sweat singing “I Want Her”; Guy (Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall and Damion Hall) the originators of New Jack Swing; and Bel Biv Devoe, who had the crowd on their feet fist-pumping to “Poison.” Cultural icon Jay-Z also rocked the house and had everyone standing to celebrate his new single “Death of Autotune.”
Maxwell treated the audience to an incredible performance of “Pretty Wings,” and in a surprise performance, up-and-coming artist Drake was joined onstage with Lil Wayne and Birdman for a medley of “Every Girl,” “Best I Ever Had” and “Always Strapped.”
In a surprise appearance, Don Cornelius, host and creator of Soul Train, spoke about the contributions of The O’Jays, the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. Tevin Campbell, Johnny Gill, Tyrese and Trey Songz all performed to honor The O’Jays’ musical career. Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean both received the 2009 BET Humanitarian Award for their philanthropic efforts.
In an emotional end to the BET AWARDS ’09, Janet Jackson made an appearance on behalf of the Jackson family to thank fans for their support. And for the finale, Foxx and Ne-Yo brought the evening to a close with a touching duet, singing the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”
A star-studded line-up of the hottest A-list celebrities made appearances at the show, including Tyra Banks, Taraji P. Henderson, Idris Elba, Sherri Shepherd, Anthony Anderson, Paula Patton, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Estelle, LeToya Luckett, Chaka Khan, Day 26, Nichelle Nichols, Keke Palmer, Ray J, Snoop Dogg, Ving Rhames, Zoe Saldana, Mike Epps, Jeremy Piven and Marlon Wayans.
Throughout the BET AWARDS ’09, BET Networks honored local heroes with the Community Humanitarian Award. These inaugural honorees – The Three Doctors, members of Food From The ‘Hood (FFTH) and Mayor-elect James Young – were recognized for their activism within their communities.
Other memorable moments included: Zoe Saldana and Nichelle Nichols, the lovely ladies who play the current and original Uhura in Star Trek; a movie trailer spoof bringing together Matthew Lawrence’s Shenene character and Foxx’s Wanda; Nickelodeon’s star of True Jackson Keke Palmer performing Jackson’s “Who’s Loving You” a cappella; and Ginuwine and other stars giving testimonials on what Jackson meant to them.
In addition to all of these incredible moments, a number of awards were given out at the BET AWARDS ’09:
Best Male R&B Artist
Best Female R&B Artist
Best Gospel Artist
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Best New Artist
Jamie Foxx f/ T-Pain – Blame It
T.I. f/ Rihanna – Live Your Life
Video Director of the Year
Video of the Year
Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Taraji P. Henson
Best Female Athlete
Best Male Athlete
Encore telecasts of the BET AWARDS ’09 are set for:
Tuesday, June 30 from 6:30-10:00 p.m.*
Thursday, July 2 from 8:00-11:30 p.m.*
Monday, July 6 from 8:00-11:30 p.m.*
PLEASE NOTE: End time may change depending on final show length.