Jay-Z and Justin Bieber. Kanye West and T.I. John Legend and Prince.
Hosted by Queen Latifah, Sunday night’s BET Awards promise to be a star-studded affair, and organizers say it will be packed with more performances than in previous years.
West and T.I. will make their TV comebacks on the show. West is set to perform, returning to the spotlight after keeping a low profile since last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, when the rapper swiped the microphone from stunned “Best Female Video” winner Taylor Swift and declared that Beyonce should have won the award. T.I. will also return to the stage for his first televised performance since his release from prison in December.
Legend and Prince will receive special honors at Sunday’s ceremony, to be broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium. Legend will be presented with BET’s humanitarian award for his work the Show Me campaign, which aims to eradicate poverty worldwide through education and health care. The artist currently known as Prince will be feted with musical tributes as the recipient of the network’s lifetime achievement award.
The BET Awards honor the year’s best in music, sports and film in 19 categories.
Jay-Z leads nominees with five nods, including best male hip-hop artist and two for video of the year, for “Empire State of Mind” and “Run This Town.”
Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Trey Songz and Melanie Fiona have four nominations each.
Bieber, the tween sensation, is up for best new artist, while fellow tween star, Selena Gomez, is nominated for the Young Stars award.
Winners are selected by a voting academy comprising industry insiders and executives, music journalists and a group of fans randomly selected by BET.com.