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Pharrell’s “Happy” is keeping a smile on the musician’s face: The song won video of the year Sunday at the BET Awards, the top prize in a show marking the best in black entertainment.
Pharrell thanked his family, fans who elevated the song to No. 1 and BET for its support.
“(BET) allows us as black people to be different and do what we do,” he told the crowd. “You guys keep the lights on for us.”
Pharrell, who also won best male R&B/pop artist, kicked off the show with a playful performance of “Come Get It Bae” featuring the reclusive Missy Elliott.
Host Chris Rock succeeded with his jokes, helping take attention away from a fatal shooting and a separate stabbing at unsanctioned parties celebrating the ceremony.
One person was killed and five injured in separate attacks ahead of the show at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles police said. The events were “unauthorized and unaffiliated with the BET Awards,” BET said in a statement.
The death and four of the injuries followed gunfire early Sunday at a restaurant, Officer Drake Madison said. Separately, a man was stabbed in the stomach Saturday night at a nightclub.
Rock didn’t mention the violence. He won over the audience with jokes about Donald Sterling, the hit series “Scandal” and rapper Rick Ross. He called the BET Awards the “black World Cup.”
The show featured a medley of hits from Usher and a performance by Chris Brown, who recently was released from jail.
August Alsina won for best new artist. Drake won best male hip-hop artist.
– Associated Press