Best R&B Artist
Mary J. Blige Dont call it a comeback, Marys been here for years. It just so happens that in 2006, Mary reminded us why shes still strong in the game after 14 years and seven albums. Released in December of 2005, The Breakthrough was true to its title, selling 727,000 copies in the first week and over three million to date in the US. After winning nine Billboard Awards this year, the album followed with eight 2007 Grammy nominations. In December 2006, Mary a collection of her hits along with some new tracks on the album Reflections A Retrospective. Even though shes established veteran status as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary continues to keep her music and image fresh and relevant.
Beyonce At only 25 years old, the yonce did her thing like nobodys business. Her sophomore solo album, BDay, went double platinum in the U.S., and received five Grammy nominations. She won an MTV award for her song Check On It from the Pink Panther movie, got her House of Dereon clothing line off the ground, and rounded out the year with a standout performance in Dreamgirls.
John Legend On the heels of his 2004 solo debut, Mr. Legend came back strong and gained more critical acclaim with his sophomore effort, aptly titled Once Again. Even Oprah showed him love!
Robin Thicke We need to thank Pharrell for making sure Thicke got his second chance with The Evolution of Robin Thicke – no doubt one of the most romantic albums of late.
Ne-Yo From songwriting to performing, Ne-Yo is the go-to guy for R&B hits. In addition to penning big songs in 06 for the likes of Rihanna, Mario Vasquez and Beyonce, he secured stardom with his solo debut album, In My Own Words.
Chris Brown After his album dropped late in 2005, Chris Brown made a huge impact on the game in 2006. His ability to belt out everything from up-tempo songs to ballads and shake up the dance floor proved that true all-around entertainers still exist.
Best R&B Album
John Legend – Once Again (G.O.O.D./Sony) A cohesive and creative collection of songs, Once Again gave music fans something to love about modern R&B. From the gospel-inspired track Heaven Only Knows to the playful Save Room, John made grown & sexy soul fun again.
Ne-Yo – In My Own Words (Def Jam)
Mary J. Blige – The Breakthrough (Geffen)
Robin Thicke – The Evolution of Robin Thicke (Star Trak/Interscope)
Heather Headley – In My Mind (RCA)
Prince 3121 (Universal)
R&B Single of the Year
Ne-Yo Sexy Love If you first heard this and thought, Michael Jackson is recording again! you were not alone. Regardless of comparisons to anyone else, Ne-Yo won us over with his sensual songwriting alongside production from Stargate.
Chris Brown Gimme That written by Sean Garrett, produced by Scott Storch
Mary J. Blige Be Without You written and produced by Bryan Michael Cox and Johnta Austin
Lloyd You produced by Big Reese & Jasper
Omarion Ice Box produced by Timbaland
Best Reggae / Dancehall Artist
Cham Album sales may not reflect it, but Cham made a huge impact on fans of dancehall music with his enthusiastic Ghetto Story. Collaborations with Alicia Keys and Rihanna offered mainstream appeal for the Atlantic Records release, and Cham wowed audiences across the country with his vivacious on-stage charm.
Best Latin/Reggaeton Artist
Shakira On her eighth album, although only second English-language album, Oral Fixation 2, Shakira shook her way to the top once again with Wyclef on Hips Dont Lie. The song is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Collaboration category, and the video won MTVs Best Choreography award.
Best Gospel Artist
Kelly Price Easily one of the most pure R&B voices of our time, Kelly went Platinum twice, Gold once, and made a choice to go gospel with her 2006 album, This Is Who I Am. She is releasing a how to book on the music industry, and given her string of hits over the years, shes probably got some great advice!
Best International Act of the Year
Rihanna The Barbados beauty reigned as Pop Princess with her #1 smash S.O.S. in Spring 06, and continued her U.S. takeover with the follow up hit Unfaithful.
Akon He was featured on songs with Obie Trice, Beenie Man, Gwen Stefani, India.Arie, T-Pain, Papoose, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, Cham, Plies, Pras, Youngbloodz, The Beatnuts, Keith Sweat, Serius Jones, not to mention his own Konvicted album collaborations with Eminem and Snoop Dogg. And thats the short list!
Keyshia Cole – She made huge noise with her soundtrack duets with Sean Paul Give It All To Me for Step It Up, and Impossible with Kanye West and Twista for Mission Impossible III. Keyshia also made strong showings on Diddy, Remy Ma and Jeezys albums, not to mention a duet with the late, great Tupac on the new Pacs Life project.
Independent Alternative Artist
Tamia After major label backing for the first part of her career, Tamia (aka Mrs. Grant Hill) made her own power moves by releasing Between Friends on Image Entertainment.
Alice Smith (BBE)
The Fuzz Band (Peach Fuzz)
Fatima Robinson Best known for her work with Aaliyah and Michael Jackson, Fatima has made dance history again with her clean, updated choreography in the Dreamgirls film, her directorial work on Fergie’s “Fergalicious” video (which she also choreographed), and her step into Alternative Rock choreography with “Mama’s Room” video for Under The Influence of Giants.
Alternative Video of the Year
Beyonce Ring The Alarm – Dont mess with Texas! Beyonce showed us a womans scorn in the angst-ridden video directed by Sophie Muller.
Mary J. Blige Be Without You
Chris Brown Gimme That
Video Director of the Year
Jessy Terrero – (Ludacris “Run Away Love”, Young Jeezy “I Luv It”, Danity Kane “Show Stopper” Chris Brown “Say Goodbye”, Daddy Yankee “Gangsta Zone”, Shawnna “Damn”, Bobby Valentine “Turn The Page”, Mobb Deep “Give It To Me”, Obie Trice “Snitch”, Field Mob “So What”)
Sophie Muller – (Beyonce Déjà vu and Ring The Alarm, Gwen Stefani “Wind It Up,” Shakira “Hips Don’t Lie”)
Chris Robinson (T.I. “What You Know,” “Why You Wanna” and “Live In The Sky,” LeToya Luckett “Torn” and “She Don’t,” Diddy “Come To Me,” Pharrell “That Girl,” Monica “Dozen Roses (You Remind Me),” Busta Rhymes “In The Ghetto,” JoJo “Too Little Too Late,” Santana “Cry Baby Cry”)
Movie Of The Year
The Departed and Dreamgirls We flat out couldnt decide which one to put at the top, so we declare this a tie. If you wanted action and some good old fashioned American violence, The Departed gave you everything you could dream of. If you longed for epic drama and classic music and choreography, Dreamgirls was the way to go. Two superbly cast films with great story-lines pure entertainment from start to finish. If you were smart like us, you saw them both!
Pursuit of Happyness
Talladega Nights The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Drama King – Best Actor
Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness) Will delivered yet another memorable performance, and has grown men shedding tears in the theater.
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
Jamie Foxx (Dreamgirls)
Michael K. Williams (The Wire)
Derek Luke (Catch A Fire)
Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)
Drama Queen – Best Actress
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) Everyone has said it, we all know it: A star is born!
Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)
Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (The Wire)
Bonnie Mbuli (Catch A Fire)
TV Series We Couldn’t Get Enough Of
The Wire If youre one of the sad cases who doesnt have HBO, or didnt have it before Season Four, then you have your chance to catch up in January when BET re-airs all the seasons. Thank goodness! We were tired of trying to explain to you why you should have been watching!
Pop Ya Collar (Best Fashion Line)
LRG Just when you thought you couldnt do anything else with trees in fashion, LRG brought brand new flavor to everything from shoes to the new limited Sidekick III.
Bust-A-Gut Award (Best Comedian)
Katt Williams The super perm is super hot again! Dipset! From Wild N Out to The Pimp Chronicles, Katt kept the laughter flowing.
For The Grown & Sexy (Sexiest men and women of the year)
Sports Player Of The Year
Dwayne Wade Miami Heat
Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers
Tiki Barber New York Giants
The Number One Spot (Slow Jam of the Year)
Sexy Love Ne-Yo
“Be Without You” Mary J. Blige
Lost Without You Robin Thicke
In My Mind Heather Headley
Don’t Call It A Comeback (Most revitalized career)
Mary J. Blige
Cee-Lo (Gnarls Barkley)
The Naked Truth
Marques Houston on a toilet bowl. [Hey kiddo, you won this two years a row now. If we see you naked again, we know youre purposely going for a three-peat ]
Paris Hilton Award (Most overexposed celebrity)