Sunday night’s BET Awards might as well have been called a comeback tour rather than an award show, considering that three nominees and eventual winners – Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce – didn’t even bother showing up, and four men with shaky pasts – Chris Brown, Kanye West, Eminem, and T.I. – attempted to redeem themselves.

Kanye, in his first television appearance since last August when he famously stole Taylor Swift‘s glory at the MTV VMAs, and Em, who recently announced his sobriety, opened the show with a performance of West’s new single "Power," along with Alicia Keys, Usher, Diddy and Drake. Rapper T.I., who was recently released from prison for weapons charges, performed a skit with host Queen Latifah mocking the arrest. But the most talked about performance of the evening was Chris Brown’s solo tribute to Michael Jackson in which Brown sang and danced to a medley of Jackson’s hits.

The singer, who pled guilty to felony assault on Rihanna last week, became choked up and started crying during his performance of "Man in the Mirror" and was unable to perform. The shocked crowd applauded Brown in a standing ovation, while he was embraced by Michael’s brother Jermaine after he walked off the stage. Brown later returned to the stage telling the audience, "I let you all down before, but I won’t do it again. I promise," referring to the assault charges.

The show wasn’t all positive, though. Many have cited Brown’s display of emotion as a publicity stunt and rapper Nicki Minaj, who won for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, performed obviously lip-synced versions of her songs. –ELENA COX

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  • algree03
    algree03 on

    I actually think Brown's performance was genuine. When he broke down he was clearly not acting. While I will never be a true fan again (because of his assault on Rihanna) I do respect him more as an artist for his performance.

  • ngarun
    ngarun on

    Chris Brown is still young, I think I believe him when he says he truly feels remorse for what he did and wants to change. America's just a tough crowd to crack though.

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