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Beyonce, Jay-Z and Kanye West, Chris Brown Win Big at BET Awards

Cissy Houston leads tribute to late daughter Whitney

Cissy Houston performs during the 2012 BET Awards in Los Angeles.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images For BET
July 2, 2012 10:20 AM ET

At last night's BET Awards, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Jay-Z and Kanye West were among those taking home top honors, with Beyoncé named best female R&B artist. Brown won best male artist, while Jay-Z and Kanye West earned best group for their collaborative album Watch the Throne. Jay-Z and Kanye also won video of the year for "Otis," while Nicki Minaj was named best female hip-hop artist. Comedian Kevin Hart took best actor and rapper Big Sean earned best new artist.

Honoring the late Whitney Houston, the awards show featured a touching tribute to the singer with performances by Monica, Brandy, Chaka Khan, Whitney's brother Gary and mother Cissy Houston, who earned a standing ovation for her performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The awards also honored the late Donna Summer, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, and singer D'Angelo made his first televised performance in 12 years.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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