#BETAwards 2001-2012: Still strong after all these years!

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It all began in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Paris Hotel in 2001. The annual awards show was first hosted by Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer. It was at the first ever awards ceremony that Outkast won their first major award, Nelly won the Best New Artist award and Whitney Houston won a lifetime achievement award among other notable awards. The BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards celebrated has celebrated many musicians, actors and athletes.

To put things in perspective, the cable television network began broadcasting in 1980, and was started by Robert L. Johnson. The network began broadcasting on Nickelodeon for two hours a week (we all have to start somewhere, right). BET officially became its own channel in 1983. In 2001 the network was bought out by Viacom for an estimated $3 billion.

After 11 years of broadcasting, it’s no wonder the BET Awards were initiated. The network needed a platform to celebrate the men and women that it was showcasing regularly. In 2002, the BET Awards began celebrating men and women with the Humanitarian Award. Notable celebrities that have received this award include Muhammad Ali, Danny Glover, Don Cheadle, Alicia Keys, Steve Harvey and Al Sharpton.

However, like every major television network, BET has fallen into a bit of controversy. The BET Network has gained a lot of influence since its inception in 2003. As a result, in 2007 the network was criticized for not covering the death of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King. Although the cable network decided not to cover the death of CSK its website offered a live stream of the funeral, later the network scheduled a special tribute episode to her: Coretta Scott King: Celebrating Her Spirit.

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