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Tomika Anderson, Special to CNN
Published: 02 July 2012

(CNN) -- A lot happened at the 2012 BET Awards on Sunday night: D'Angelo performed live on TV for the first time in years; the late Whitney Houston was remembered with a show-stopping performance; and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian did their best to keep the rumors swirling about their relationship.

The live broadcast featured some of the biggest stars in the music world, including Jay-Z and Beyonce (who won the best female R&B artist honor), Nicki Minaj (the recipient of the best female hip-hop artist award), and Usher.

The latter R&B star melted the stage with his super-sensual hit "Climax" amidst reports that he recently obtained a restraining order against an alleged stalker who claimed to be his wife.

Chris Brown -- who opened his set with a hologram but quickly emerged showing some skin while sporting metallic body paint -- also performed at the Los Angeles awards show under a cloud of controversy.

He ran through "Don't Wake Me Up" and one of his most recent hits, "Turn Up The Music," in his first big appearance since he was allegedly involved in a bar scuffle with rapper Drake last month. (Drake did not attend the awards show.)

Not to be outdone, Kanye West also turned heads, but more because of what he was wearing than because of a performance. West and his rumored girlfriend Kim Kardashian -- who sat in the first row along with West, next to Jay-Z and Beyonce -- showed up wearing matching white outfits.

Later, West and Jay-Z took the top award of the night, winning video of the year for "Otis." They also won best group.

D'Angelo, in the midst of a much-chronicled comeback, went before live TV cameras for the first time in many years on Sunday, singing the song that put him on the sex-symbol map, "Untitled."

The tear-jerking moment of the night was the emotional tribute to late pop diva Whitney Houston, whose own mother, gospel star Cissy Houston, sang "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" to honor her. She was also feted by singing mentees Monica and Brandy, as well as friend and collaborator Mariah Carey.

Other performers and attendees included Big Sean, who won the best new artist award, Rick Ross and Jamie Foxx. Samuel L. Jackson hosted the ceremony.

To see the full list of winners, visit BET.com.

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