‘BET AWARDS ’09’ Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson and Honors the Best in Music, Sports and Entertainment, Including Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, Keri Hilson and LeBron James

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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: Ne-Yo

Best Female R&B Artist: Beyonce

Best Group: Day 26

Best Gospel Artist: Mary Mary

Best Female Hip Hop Artist: M.I.A.

Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Lil Wayne

Best New Artist: Keri Hilson

Best Collaboration: Jamie Foxx f/ T-Pain – Blame It

Viewer’s Choice: T.I. f/ Rihanna – Live Your Life

Video Director of the Year: Benny Boom

Video of the Year: Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson

Best Actor: Will Smith

Best Female Athlete: Serena Williams

Best Male Athlete: LeBron James

Centric Award: Jazmine Sullivan

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.

BET has once again teamed with Cossette Productions, the famed producers of the GRAMMY Awards(R) and the eight record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast. Stephen Hill, President, Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, along with Lynne Harris-Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks, will executive produce the telecast.

BET AWARDS ’09 is sponsored by Pepsi, Procter & Gamble’s Cover Girl and My Black Is Beautiful, Kmart, Lincoln, Ford, KFC Pride 360 and GREY GOOSE(R) Vodka.

Visit BET.com for BET On Blast video highlights, photos and continuous BET AWARDS ’09 news at www.bet.com/betawards. Get up-to-the-minute news and reactions about the BET AWARDS ’09 by following @BETAwards on Twitter (www.twitter.com).

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA)(NYSE:VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks – BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

CONTACT: Voncella McIntosh, +1-310-481-3732, voncella.mcintosh@bet.net, or Marcy Polanco, +1-212-975-3327, marcy.polanco@bet.net, both of BET Networks

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