Queen Latifah To Host The 2010 BET Awards; Jay-Z, Beyonce Lead Noms.

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BET Networks, a unit of Viacom ( VIA, VIA.B), today announced that entertainment superstar Queen Latifah has been tapped to host the tenth anniversary of the mega-hit, #1 rated awards show among African American viewers, the BET AWARDS. This much-anticipated special will broadcast LIVE from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 8:00 P.M.* on BET and via live stream on BET.com.

Continuing a tradition of honoring and showcasing the industry's hottest stars in music, sports and entertainment, BET AWARDS '10 is poised for another chart-topping night of never-before seen moments. Performances by Diddy-Dirty Money, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, Drake and more to light the stage. R&B superstar Trey Songz is featured in his very own reality series -- TREY SONGZ: MY MOMENT IN TIME -- premiering on BET Tuesday, June 29th at 10 P.M.* (with a sneak peek airing after the BET AWARDS on June 27th).

One-woman entertainment conglomerate Queen Latifah is sure to reign supreme as host of this year's BET AWARDS '10. Blessed with style and substance, Queen Latifah is a Grammy(R) Award-winning musician, television and film actress, label president, author and entrepreneur. On January 4, 2006, she became the first hip hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has received rave reviews, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Miramax's "Chicago" as well as a Golden Globe and SAG Award win for her heart wrenching role in "Life Support."

BET AWARDS '10 will recognize the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 19 categories. Front-runner Jay-Z gets 5 individual nominations across multiple categories: Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration, Video of the Year (for which he holds two nominations) and Viewer's Choice. Closely behind are Beyonce (Best Female R&B Artist, Best Collaboration, Video of the Year, Viewer's Choice), Alicia Keys (Best Female R&B Artist, Best Collaboration, Video of the Year, Viewer's Choice), Trey Songz (Best Male R&B Artist, Best Collaboration ? 2, Viewer's Choice) and Melanie Fiona (Best Female R&B Artist, Best New Artist, Video of the Year, Centric Award) with 4 each.

Drake locks 3 individual nominations with an additional 3 for Young Money; similarly, Nicki Minaj has 2 individual nods as well as 3 for Young Money. Other multiple nominees include Rihanna, Fabolous, B.O.B., Maxwell and Monica. Teen heart throb Justin Bieber secures nomination for Best New Artist, Disney? actress Selena Gomez for the YoungStars Award and "Avatar" star Zoe Saldana for Best Actress.

The nominees are:

Best Female R&B Artist
Beyoncé
Mary J. Blige
Melanie Fiona
Alicia Keys
Rihanna

Best Male R&B Artist
Chris Brown
Raheem DeVaughn
Maxwell
Trey Songz
Usher

Best Gospel
The Anointed Pace Sisters
Kirk Franklin Presents Artists United For Haiti
Tamela Mann
Marvin Sapp
Vickie Winans

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Ester Dean
Lil Kim
Nicki Minaj
Rasheeda
Trina

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
B.o.B.
Drake
Fabolous
Jay-Z
Ludacris

Best Group
Black Eyed Peas
Clipse
Diddy-Dirty Money
New Boyz
Young Money

Best New Artist
Justin Bieber
Melanie Fiona
Nicki Minaj
Wale
Young Money

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé f/ Lady Gaga - Video Phone
B.o.B. f/ Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You
Drake & Trey Songz - Successful
Drake f/ Lil Wayne, Kanye West & Eminem - Forever
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Trey Songz f/ Fabolous - Say Aah

Video of the Year
Beyoncé f/ Lady Gaga - Video Phone
B.o.B. f/ Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You
Melanie Fiona - It Kills Me
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West - Run This Town

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Gil Green
Anthony Mandler
Chris Robinson
Hype Williams

Best Actress
Taraji P. Henson
Regina King
Mo'Nique
Zoe Saldana
Gabourey Sidibe

Best Actor
Quinton Aaron
Don Cheadle
Idris Elba
Jamie Foxx
Denzel Washington

YoungStars Award
Selena Gomez
Lil JJ
Keke Palmer
Willow Smith
Tyler James Williams

Best Movie
Avatar
Law Abiding Citizen
Michael Jackson's This Is It
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push' by Sapphire
The Blindside

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Tamika Catchings
Vanessa James
Candace Parker
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Carmelo Anthony
Usain Bolt
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Tiger Woods

Viewers Choice Nominees
Beyoncé - Sweet Dreams
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Monica - Everything To Me
Rihanna f/ Young Jeezy - Hard
Trey Songz f/ Fabolous - Say Aah
Young Money (Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda, Nicki Minaj, Jae Millz, Drake, Tyga) f/ Lloyd - Bedrock

Centric Award
Melanie Fiona
Maxwell
Chrisette Michele
Monica
Sade

Best International Act
Kojo Antwi (Ghana)
Chipmunk (UK)
Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Estelle (UK)

Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) (South Africa)
K'NAAN (Somalia)
M.I. (Nigeria)
P-Square (Nigeria)
Corinne Bailey Rae (UK)
Sade (UK)

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On the social media front, BET AWARDS '10 will focus on digital exclusives and interactivity. There will be a 106 & PARK Pre-Show performance that will live only on digital platforms. Internet users will be able to interact with the show through such features as:

* "Shine a Light / Local Heroes," where the online audience can nominate someone who is making a difference in their community or the lives of others for an opportunity to be recognized in the BET AWARDS.

* "You Talk, We Listen," a daily poll and dialogue about what our viewers would like to see in the 2010 BET AWARDS show.

* "Who Rocked the Mic Award," where our viewers vote on the best performance from the show and the Award is presented in the 106 & PARK Post Show on Monday, June 28th.

* "W3: Who What Wear," in which users check out the 360 degree view "COVERCAM" online to vote on the best dressed celebrity from our red carpet, and an award is presented during the fashion show airing Monday, June 28th.

* "Ultimate Fan," where three contest finalists will travel to New York and appear on 106 & PARK to state their case for why they should be the BET Awards Ultimate Fan. The Ultimate Fan winner will be determined by mobile votes and the grand prize package includes a 4 day/3 night trip for two to Los Angeles where he/she will co-present the Viewer's Choice award.

BET AWARDS '10 will also kick off MUSIC MATTERS, a multi-platform network initiative showcasing groundbreaking music and talent. This campaign will focus primarily on new acts that have the potential to be the next superstar, while also highlighting some established artists.

For nearly a decade the BET AWARDS has reigned as one of the highest rated and most memorable celebrations in entertainment, rivaling all top awards shows. Having escalated each year in industry influence, A-list celebrity nominations, attendance and one-of-a-kind performances, BET AWARDS has undoubtedly established itself as the hottest ticket on television.

For last year's awards show, a record-setting number of fans tuned-in to watch what turned out to be an emotional memorial to The King of Pop, Michael Jackson. In other years, top moments like the surprise tribute performance to Al Green by Maxwell and the reuniting of legendary female R&B groups TLC, En Vogue and SWV kept viewers on the edge of their seats, along with Michael Jackson's surprise appearance during James Brown's tribute; Rick James in his final duet with Teena Marie; Will Smith presenting Muhammad Ali with the first-ever Humanitarian Award; Prince onstage backing Chaka Khan; Stevie Wonder, Yolanda Adams and India.Arie in a powerhouse tribute to Rufus' first lady of funk; Destiny's Child's steamy lap dance; and the unforgettable reunion of one of hip hop's most beloved trios, The Fugees.

BET has once again teamed with Cossette Productions, the famed producers of the GRAMMY(R) Awards and the nine record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast. Stephen Hill, President, Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, along with Lynne Harris-Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks, will executive produce the telecast.

For continuous BET AWARDS '10 updates, including live streaming details for the show, please visit: http://www.bet.com/betawards. Additionally, stay on the pulse of any and everything relating to the BET AWARDS '10 through our Twitter page at www.twitter.com/BETAWARDS (hash tag: #BETAWARDS) and Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/TheBETAwards.

*All times ET/PT

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. ( VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and Production Company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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