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1st BET Award presented during red carpet arrivals

The Associated Press, Sunday, June 26, 2011, 3:53pm (PDT)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The BET Awards got started before the ceremony began, as the first prize was presented outside the Shrine Auditorium.

Singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius accepted the Centric Award from the red carpet, beating out R. Kelly, Cee Lo Green, Eric Benet and Kem.

Chris Brown leads the night's nominees with six nods, including best male R&B artist and video of the year. The 21-year-old singer is also set to perform on show, where he launched his comeback last year with an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson.

Lil Wayne follows Brown with five nods. He will also perform at the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on BET.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Chris Brown will have another chance at redemption when the BET Awards are presented Sunday night.

The 21-year-old singer, whose image is still recovering from his attack on Rihanna more than two years ago, is up for a leading six awards, including best male R&B artist and video of the year.

Brown scored several hits with his latest album, F.A.M.E., but suffered a reputation setback in March when he smashed up his dressing room after an appearance on "Good Morning America."

He is set to perform on the annual awards show, where he launched his comeback last year with an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson.

Lil Wayne follows Brown with five nods. He will also perform at the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on BET from 8-11 p.m. EDT from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Kanye West, Drake and Rihanna are up for four awards each. Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Trey Songz, Cee Lo Green and B.o.B also received multiple nominations. Patti LaBelle will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Steve Harvey will receive the Humanitarian Award at the show hosted by comedian Kevin Hart.

The Shrine will be filled with stars as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige are set to perform, and Minaj, Mars, Gladys Knight and Justin Bieber will appear on stage.

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Online:

http://www.bet.com/betawards

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Sandy Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APSandy.

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