Cee-Lo Green as Patti LaBelle: Hey sister, soul sister? (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Jill Scott and Idris Elba got flirty.

Trey Songz tore off his clothes.

And Cee Lo Green dressed up like Patti LaBelle, only to be outdone by, well, Patti LaBelle, who received a lifetime achievement award.

That’s how the performances went during Sunday night’s BET Awards. In case you were watching “True Blood” and missed the whole thing, here are some of the live music highlights.

The Patti LaBelle tribute

Cee Lo Green kicked off the salute to this year’s lifetime achiever by performing dressed like her, complete with spiky ’do and canister of hairspray. Marsha Ambrosius, Shirley Caesat and Miss LaBelle herself also took the stage. And yes, “Lady Marmalade” was in the mix.

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BET Awards: Red carpet photos

BET Award winners

Jill Scott, with a little helps from Idris Elba

Scott attempted to rebuff the advances of Elba in a performance of “Rolling Hills,” set in an old-school jazz club. (“I know you miss all of this,” Elba says, referring to himself. Um, good luck rebuffing that, Ms. Scott.)

Chris Brown

The night’s biggest winner in terms of BET trophies (he collected three), he also performed a medley of his hits. Unlike last year, he didn’t get all emotional while channeling Michael Jackson onstage.

Tributes to Clarence Clemons, Nate Dogg, M Bone and Gil Scott Heron

The great talents lost during the past year received their due, with Warren G doing a sax salute to Clemons, Snoop Dogg and others doing Nate Dogg’s “Regulate,” Cali Swag District and Doug E. Fresh remembering M Bone and Queen Latifah reciting Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

Trey Songz and Kelly Rowland

A pregnant Nia Long introduced Trey Songz, praising him for his ability to create “baby-making music.” And that led to Songz stripping down during “Love Faces” and, later, Kelly Rowland being even less subtly sexual during a performance of “Motivation.”


Beyonce’s performance, simulcast from Glastonbury, England, came toward the end of the BETs and prompted a Twitter debate: Was she being Beyonce here or back to being Sasha Fierce? Personally, I was too blinded by her sequins to make a call.