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Remy Ma beats Nicki Minaj at BET Awards; '90s R&B shines

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/26/2017 By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
Remy Ma speaks at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Remy Ma speaks at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Remy Ma has ended rival Nicki Minaj's seven-year winning streak at the 2017 BET Awards, a show highlighted by '90s R&B and groups popular in that decade, as well as five wins for Beyonce.

Solange accepts the centric award for "Cranes in the Sky" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Solange accepts the centric award for "Cranes in the Sky" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Ma, who was released from prison in 2014, won best female hip hop artist Sunday in Los Angeles, an award Minaj has won since 2010. Ma last won the prize in 2005, and was sentenced to prison three years later after she shot a former friend after accusing her of theft.

DJ Khaled performs "I'm The One" while holding his son Asahd at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press DJ Khaled performs "I'm The One" while holding his son Asahd at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"I wanna thank God first and foremost," said Ma, who named two correctional facilities in her speech and thanked her mentor Fat Joe and husband-rapper Papoose. "You can make mistakes and come back."

Bruno Mars performs "Perm" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Bruno Mars performs "Perm" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

In March, Ma released the hostile diss track "Shether," which earned praised from critics and rap fans. Minaj never officially responded to the song.

Kandi Burruss, from left, LaTocha Scott, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and Tamika Scott, of Xscape, arrive at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kandi Burruss, from left, LaTocha Scott, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and Tamika Scott, of Xscape, arrive at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

At the live show at the Microsoft Theater, '90s R&B favorites New Edition and Xscape were the most welcomed performers of the night.

Host Leslie Jones speaks at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Host Leslie Jones speaks at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

New Edition, whose three-part biopic was a white-hot ratings success for BET earlier this year, earned the lifetime achievement award and received a lengthy tribute. It started with the child actors from the movie singing "Candy Girl," later followed by the older actors for some of the band's hits apart from the group, including Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison" and Ralph Tresvant's "Sensitivity."

Offset, from left, Quavo and Takeoff, of Migos, accept the award for best group at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Offset, from left, Quavo and Takeoff, of Migos, accept the award for best group at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

The real group then hit to stage to sing "Can You Stand the Rain" and "Mr. Telephone Man." The actors later joined New Edition for "If It Isn't Love."

Chance The Rapper accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Chance The Rapper accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Girl group Xscape, set to launch a new reality show on Bravo, reunited at the BET Awards and sang the popular hits "Just Kickin' It," ''Understanding" and "Who Can I Run To?" The crowd was in awe, singing along and filming the performance with their phones.

Tamika Mallory, winner of the shine a light award, appears onstage at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Tamika Mallory, winner of the shine a light award, appears onstage at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Bruno Mars, whose new album was heavily inspired by '90s R&B, also shined Sunday. He and Beyonce tied for video of the year — the top prize but not televised — with their hits "24K Magic" and "Sorry." Mars also won best male R&B/pop artist and kicked off the show with a fun and funky performance of the song, "Perm."

Bruno Mars accepts the award for best male R&B/pop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Bruno Mars accepts the award for best male R&B/pop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"To the fans, you know I love you. My first BET Award," he screamed.

Host, Leslie Jones, performs a skit at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Host, Leslie Jones, performs a skit at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Kendrick Lamar surprised the audience when he performed with Future and won best male hip hop artist. He gave a shout-out to fellow nominee Chance the Rapper, who earned the humanitarian award at the age of 24. Chance also won best new artist and best collaboration.

Kandi Burruss, from left, Tamika Scott, Tameka Cottle, and LaTocha Scott of Xscape perform at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kandi Burruss, from left, Tamika Scott, Tameka Cottle, and LaTocha Scott of Xscape perform at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

In a taped message, Michelle Obama honored Chance, who has raised $2 million dollars for Chicago public schools. The former First Lady said she and Barack Obama knew Chance "since he was a baby rapper."

In foreground, New Edition, performs with members of the cast of The New Edition Story at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press In foreground, New Edition, performs with members of the cast of The New Edition Story at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"Chance is showing our young people that they matter," she said. "Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves."

DJ Khaled performs "I'm The One" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press DJ Khaled performs "I'm The One" at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Beyonce, who reportedly had her twins earlier this month though she hasn't commented on the topic, was the top nominee with seven. When it was announced that she won the viewer's choice award, Chloe x Halle — the young duo signed to Beyonce — recited a speech given to them from the pop star. Queen Bey was the big winner with five, also taking home album of the year for "Lemonade," best female R&B/pop artist and video director of the year for "Sorry."

Ralph Tresvant, of New Edition, performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Ralph Tresvant, of New Edition, performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Solange, Beyonce's younger sister, also had a big night: She won the Centric award and called Sunday "the best birthday ever" (she turned 31 on Saturday).

Kendrick Lamar accepts the award for best male hip-hop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kendrick Lamar accepts the award for best male hip-hop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"My arm pits are sweating so much right now," said Solange, who thanked BET for showing her "queens" like Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu and others during her teenage years.

Yara Shahidi, winner of the young stars award, poses in the press room at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Yara Shahidi, winner of the young stars award, poses in the press room at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Solange held a moment of silence later on, and the show also honored some of the minorities who died at the hands of police officers, including Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Eric Garner and others.

Keith Powers, from the cast of The New Edition Story, performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Keith Powers, from the cast of The New Edition Story, performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Other winners included gospel rapper Lecrae and Migos, who took home best group. The hip-hop trio also won over the audience with its performances of the hits "Bad and Boujee," ''T-Shirt" and "Congratulations," with Post Malone. Chance the Rapper, and his mom, danced during the long set; as did Queen Latifah, Cardi B., "Stranger Things" actor Caleb McLaughlin and "black-ish" actress Yara Shahidi, who won the YoungStars award.

Havoc, left, and Lil Kim present the award for best male hip hop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Havoc, left, and Lil Kim present the award for best male hip hop artist at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Though most of the performances were upbeat, others charmed with slower songs: Tamar Braxton and Maxwell gave vocally impressive performances, and Mary J. Blige sang songs from "Strength of a Woman," her recent album that includes emotional tunes about her divorce.

"Mary J. got that break up body. Whoa," screamed Jamie Foxx, who presented an award after Blige's performance.

Leslie Jones of "Saturday Night Live" hosted the four-hour show. El DeBarge and Kamasi Washignton performed "Careless Whisper" in honor George Michael, who died last year on Christmas Day, while Janelle Monae collaborator Roman GianArthur excitedly sang "Johnny B. Goode" in tribute to Chuck Berry, who died in March.

New York rapper Prodigy, who died last week, was remembered in words by his Mobb Deep partner Havoc and Lil Kim, who appeared on the remix of the memorable Mobb Deep hit, "Quiet Storm."

Former BET executive Stephen Hill, who the network said was stepping down in March, was praised throughout the night with kind words from Mars and Bobby Brown.

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Online:

http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/

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