The BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday (July 1), and big winners included Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and, of course, Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé.

The show kicked off with G.O.O.D music’s Kanye, who was decked in all-white, he was joined by 2 Chainz, Pusha T and eventual Best New Artist winner Big Sean to perform their runaway rap hit “Mercy”. After their performance the camera panned straight to the rapper’s reality star girlfriend Kim Kardashian as she gave him a standing ovation.

Moments later, movie director Spike Lee joined the show’s host Samuel L. Jackson as they did a comedic version of Jay-Z and West’s hit song “N***as In Paris,” to laughs.

An emotional highlight of the show came when Cissy Houston paid tribute to her daughter Whitney when she performed ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, which left the likes of Beyonce and Melanie Fiona in tears.

Singer Mariah Carey opened the tribute with memories of her friend, which was followed by a moving number by Monica. Brandy, heavily influenced by Houston, sang two of the late singer’s hits. Chaka Khan hit the stage with “I’m Every Woman,” which Whitney remade. Gary Houston, Whitney’s brother, also performed.

Many other tributes to deceased greats were also performed on the night including Chante Moore performing a medley of Donna Summer’s hits and Valerie Simpson sang a song in honour of her husband and writing partner Nick Ashford.

Kanye and Jay-Z won the ceremony’s top prize, earning video of the year for “Otis.” They also won best group.

Kanye, who was up for seven awards, was the top nominee. Beyonce was the second with six. She won video director of the year (along with Alan Ferguson) and best female R&B artist and thanked the genre and her female influences.

“I fell in love with music by listening to R&B. It’s the core of who I am,” she said, giving special thanks to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and “Whitney Houston, my angel.”

Singer Chris Brown was also a double winner. Kevin Hart — who hosted the awards last year — also won for best actor for Think Like A Man, Big Sean was named best new artist and Wale and Miguel’s smooth hit “Lotus Flower Bomb” won best collaboration.

Usher, D’Angelo, Tyrese, Faith Evans and Joe also performed on the night. Congratulations to the UK’s Wretch 32 who won the award for Best International Act UK.

The BET Awards will air on July 3rd at 8pm on Sky Channel 187 

Check out the full list of winners below.

Best Actor
Kevin Hart “Think Like a Man”

Best Actress
Viola Davis

Best Collaboration
Wale & Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Best Female R&B Artist

Best Gospel
Yolanda Adams

Best Group
The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West)

Best International Act

Best International Act UK
Wretch 32

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

Best Male R&B Artist
Chris Brown

Best Movie
The Help

Best New Artist
Big Sean

Centric Award

Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award
Mindless Behaviour

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Kevin Durrant

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Serena Williams

Video Director of the Year
Beyonce & Allen Fergueson ‘Party’

Video of the Year
‘Otis’ – The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West)

YoungStars Award

Lifetime Achievement Award
Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly

Video of the Year
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West), featuring Otis Redding, “Otis”

Humanitarian Award
The Reverend Al Sharpton

AOL Fandemonium Award
Chris Brown

Here are some of the stars on the red carpet