Ne Yo, Keri Hilson Lead Early BET Award Winners

R&B chart-topping duo Ne-Yo and Keri Hilson are leading an early set of winners at the BET Awards 09′. Ne-Yo, recognized for the 2008 effort “Year of the Gentleman,” picked up an award for Best R&B Male Artist after performing a special tribute to Michael Jackson. Also dedicating his award to the late Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo kicked off a surprising round of performances from hit R&B groups Guy, BBD (Bel Biv Devoe) and former “Nobody” singer Keith Sweat. In addition to Ne-Yo picking up Best R&B Male Artist, “Knock You Down” singer Keri Hilson earned the BET Award for Best New Artist. Mary Mary (Best Gospel Artist), Taraji P. Henson (Best Actress), Jamie Foxx and T-Pain (Best Collaboration “Blame It”) and Lil Wayne (Best Hip Hop) also picked up awards. Bad Boy recording stars Day 26 picked up a pre-show award for Best Group. Long on to Twitter/singersroom for exclusives straight from the show!! (or Click HERE)

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