The Six Most Memorable Moments from the BET Awards

By Sandy Cohen AP Entertainment Writer | 7/1/2014, 12:21 p.m.

Backstage, Richie called the honor "magical.''

"If you are lucky enough in this business to have years of songs, as opposed to a couple of songs, (it's) something to be proud of,'' he said.

Richie apparently didn’t make an issue of “Brick House” being performed in his honor despite the fact that he didn’t sing lead on that song when he was with the Commodores. The drummer sung lead.

  • Rising stars Alsina and Jhene Aiko shined brightly. Alsina was moved to tears as he accepted the first award of the night, best new artist.

"I represent the struggle,'' the New Orleans newcomer said onstage. "This award is not for me, it's for the people.''

Alsina returned to accept the fan-voted viewers' choice award, where he beat Beyoncé and Drake, saying, "I ain't gon' cry this time!''

Aiko performed with John Legend, singing "The Worst'' as he played piano.

  • The night's leading nominees, Drake, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, were all no-shows. Each had five nominations.

Drake, who was originally set to perform, was named best male hip-hop artist. Beyoncé won female R&B/pop artist. Her hit with Jay Z, "Drunk In Love,'' won best collaboration.

The superstar couple, who recently launched their joint On the Run tour, still had a major presence: A pre-recorded performance by the pair at their concert closed the show.

AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.