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[05/15/08 - 03:04 PM]
The 'Hottest Ticket on Television' Has Been Announced: The BET Awards '08
T-Pain leads the pack with five nominations, followed by Kanye West and Keyshia Cole with three each.

[via press release from BET]

The 'Hottest Ticket on Television' Has Been Announced: The BET AWARDS '08

T-Pain Leads the Pack with Five Nominations, Kanye West and Keyshia Cole Follow Closely With Three Nominations, Mary J. Blige, Flo Rida and Alicia Keys Hold Steady With Two Each

The Eighth Annual BET AWARDS '08 Will Be Televised LIVE from Los Angeles' Famed Shrine Auditorium on Tuesday, June 24 With Performances by Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Wayne and Nelly

Legendary R&B Icon Al Green to Receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award and Celebrated Producer/Arranger/Composer Quincy Jones Set for BET's Humanitarian Award

NEW YORK, May 15 BET Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA)(NYSE: and)(NYSE: VIA.B), today announced the nominees, performers and recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian honors for the BET AWARDS '08. The BET AWARDS '08 is raising the stakes and promises to be the "hottest ticket on television" for the eighth year running, as the biggest stars in music, sports and entertainment unite in Los Angeles' historic Shrine Auditorium for a night of explosive LIVE performances on Tuesday, June 24 at 8:00 PM ET/PT. As in years past, the BET AWARDS '08 will continue its landmark tradition of hot performances by some of today's heavy hitters, including Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Wayne and Nelly. The host, along with additional presenters and performers, will be announced shortly.

At this year's most hyped event, BET will recognize the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 15 categories. Hip hop R&B singer, songwriter and producer T-Pain tops the line-up with five nominations for his collaborations with Chris Brown, Kanye and Flo Rida, followed by rapper/producer Kanye West who earned three nominations with his successful third album, "Graduation," in the Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration and Video of the Year categories.

Among the other multiple nominees are R&B songstress Mary J. Blige for Best Female R&B, as well as Video of the Year for "Just Fine," along with Flo Rida, Alicia Keys and Keyshia Cole.

Those nominated for the second straight year include Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne for Best Male Hip Hop; Mary J. Blige for Best Female R&B; last year's Best Male R&B winner Ne-Yo; Angela Bassett and Chandra Wilson for Best Actress; last year's winner, basketball sensation LeBron James, boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and golfing phenomenon Tiger Woods for Male Athlete of the Year; smash hitter and four-time category winner Serena Williams and b-ball superstar Tamika Catchings for Female Athlete of the Year.

In keeping with the history-making track record of the most highly anticipated night in Black entertainment, BET is pulling out all of the stops in naming this year's special honorees. Legendary R&B icon Al Green will be in the house to receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award. Joining him will be celebrated producer/arranger/composer Quincy Jones, who will be honored with BET's prestigious Humanitarian Award for his outreach to young African-Americans through the Listen Up Foundation, a charity which connects youth with music, technology and culture. In addition, Jones helped launch the We Are the Future project, giving hope to children in poor and conflict-ridden areas.

For the past seven years, the BET AWARDS has boasted unforgettable moments such as 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; the reunion of one of hip hop's most beloved trios, The Fugees; and last year's touching opening performance with Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Holliday and Public Enemy's tribute to James Brown.

BET has once again teamed with Cossette Productions, the famed producers of the GRAMMY Awards´┐Ż and the seven record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast. Stephen Hill, BET Executive Vice President, Music and Programming, along with Lynn Harris-Taylor, BET Vice President of Specials, will executive produce the telecast.

BET AWARDS '08 will be sponsored by Dodge, Pepsi, Verizon Wireless, General Motors, P&G, Target, Circo and Ford.

Log onto BET.com for BET On Blast video highlights, photos and continuous BET AWARDS '08 updates at http://www.bet.com/betawards.

BET AWARDS '08

NOMINEES AND CATEGORIES

Best Female R&B Best Male R&B Best Group

Mary J. Blige Chris Brown Danity Kane

Mariah Carey Raheem DeVaughn Day 26

Keyshia Cole J. Holiday Gnarls Barkley

Alicia Keys Ne-Yo Playaz Circle

Rihanna Trey Songz UGK

Best Gospel Best Female Best Male

Artist Hip Hop Artist Hip Hop Artist

The Clark Sisters Missy Elliott Common

Kirk Franklin Eve Jay-Z

Deitrick Haddon Kid Sister Lil' Wayne

Marvin Sapp Lil Mama Snoop Dogg

Trin-I-Tee 5:7 Trina Kanye West

Best New Artist Best Collaboration

Estelle Chris Brown f/ T-Pain "Kiss Kiss"

Flo Rida Keyshia Cole f/ Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim

Chrisette Michelle "Let It Go"

Soulja Boy Tell'em Flo Rida f/ T-Pain "Low"

The Dream Kanye West f/ T-Pain "Good Life" DJ Khaled f/ Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil' Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman and Rick Ross "I'm So Hood (The Remix)"

Best Video Director Video of the Year

Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto Ashanti "The Way That I Love You"

Benny Boom Erykah Badu "Honey"

Gil Green Mary J. Blige "Just Fine"

Chris Robinson Alicia Keys "Like You'll Never See Me Again"

Hype Williams UGK f/ Outkast "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)" Kanye West f/ T-Pain "Good Life"

Best Actress Best Actor Female Athlete of the Year

Angela Bassett Anthony Anderson Tamika Catchings

Halle Berry Don Cheadle Cheryl Ford

Queen Latifah Idris Elba Candace Parker

Jill Scott Terrence Howard Serena Williams

Chandra Wilson Denzel Washington Venus Williams

Male Athlete of the Year Viewer's Choice Award

Kobe Bryant Chris Brown f/ T-Pain "Kiss Kiss"

LeBron James Keyshia Cole f/ Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. "Let It Go"

Chris Paul Alicia Keys "No One"

Tiger Woods Lil' Wayne f/ Static "Lollipop" Jordin Sparks f/ Chris Brown "No Air" Soulja Boy Tell'em "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)"





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