Drake greets fans during the 2013 Much Music Video Awards in Toronto on Sunday June 16, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
by Mesfin Fekadu
AP Music Writer
The BET Awards should be called the Drake Awards.
The rapper-singer is up for 12 honors, including five nominations for video of the year, which has 10 nominees.
His own hits — “Started from the Bottom” and “HYFR” — are up for the top prize, as well as his guest appearances on 2 Chainz’s “No Lie,” A$AP Rocky’s “(Expletive) Problems” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice.” Other video of the year nominees are Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” ”Adorn” by Miguel, Kanye West’s “Mercy” and “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
While 26-year-old Drake is mostly battling himself for the night’s top award — to air live Sunday from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live — some of his friends (and enemies) will blaze the stage, including Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, who is nominated for best male R&B artist. Minaj, who has won best female hip-hop artist for three consecutive years, is up for the honor again with little competition.
But the animated rapper isn’t the only diva taking the stage: Mariah Carey is also set to sing her latest single, “#Beautiful,” with Miguel.
Justin Timberlake, who has four nominations including best male R&B artist and best collaboration for “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z, will also perform. Other performers include Stevie Wonder, R. Kelly, India.Arie, Ciara and Robin Thicke, who’s “Blurred Lines” is spending its third week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
2 Chainz and Lamar, who had a breakthrough this year with his critically acclaimed major label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” follow Drake with eight nominations each.
Timberlake, Drake, Lamar, Rocky, Miguel and Rihanna will compete for the fan-voted viewer’s choice award. Charlie Wilson will earn the lifetime achievement award and Dwyane Wade, who recently won the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, will receive the humanitarian award.
Chris Tucker will host the awards show, and presenters include Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, Paula Patton and Gabrielle Union.
Sunday’s BET Awards is the last part of the network’s three-day, weekend event dubbed “BET Experience at L.A. Live.” It kicked off Friday with a Beyonce concert, and other performers throughout the weekend included Miguel, The Jacksons and R. Kelly.
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