Women win designated honors at the BET Awards

The 2008 Black Entertainment Television Awards were last night and, as expected, it was quite a spectacle. In what BET promised to be the “hottest ticket on television,” musicians, actors, athletes and others gathered to celebrate the achievements of the most accomplished black celebrities of the past year.

They arrived in droves, and they arrived in style. (Well, all except for Lil Mama, but I won’t even get into that.) Behold, some of the most fashionable ladies to attend the awards:

Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson, Rihanna

Once inside, the festivities began, though not quite as smoothly as some would have liked. If you happened to tune in late (or not at all) don’t worry about missing Usher’s opening performance; it appears as though he slipped and fell during his dance sequence. Oh well, karma’s a bi-yatch, isn’t she?

Other than the homophobe du jour, there were performers who actually deserved some recognition. Alicia Keys brought the women of SWV, En Vogue, and TLC on stage with her, and they managed to completely bring down the house with TLC’s hit “Waterfalls,” and I was simultaneously reminded of why I miss ’90s music so much. (Seriously, you want to watch that video. It was totally badass.)

T-Pain led all nominees with five, but females were actually fairly well represented; several were nominated for at least two awards and all gender-neutral categories contained at least one female nominee. That is more than can be said for the Grammy Awards, the CMT Awards, or the ACM Awards. But, out of the eight categories shared by men and women, only one woman prevailed: Erykah Badu (with Mr. Roboto) for Best Video Director.

A full list of nominees and winners can be found here, but I’ll (happily) round out the list of victorious women for you.

Female R&B artist: Alicia Keys

Female hip-hop artist: Missy Elliott

Actress: Halle Berry

Female athlete: Candace Parker

So what do you think? Were these, indeed, the best women that BET could have chosen from the past year? Personally, I think the show was remiss in not showcasing Jordin Sparks more. Why was she not nominated for Female R&B artist or Best New Artist? Is she not R&B “enough?” Perhaps, but that still didn’t make me miss her wish she had performed any less.

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