- Associated Press - Sunday, July 1, 2012

Now that Beyonce and Jay-Z have confirmed that they’re attending the BET Awards, the next question is: Will Kanye West be the third wheel, or will his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, be on his arm?

Kardashian could add to the list of big names attending Sunday’s awards show. Already on the bill are Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx and host Samuel L. Jackson, along with top music stars: Nicki Minaj, Usher, Rick Ross and Chris Brown were set to perform.

The awards were to be Brown’s first televised appearance since the New York City nightclub brawl between his entourage and Drake’s. Brown, his girlfriend, his bodyguard and NBA star Tony Parker were among those injured in the June 14 encounter, where bottles were thrown.

Drake, however, isn’t expected be at the event. Both singer-rappers are nominated for awards.

Common won the first honor of the night, picking up the Centric award, beating out Robin Thicke, Estelle and others. The award is given to a soulful act on behalf of BET’s sister channel, Centric.

The rapper accepted his trophy during the award’s pre-show ceremony on the network; it also included Rick Ross, Kevin Hart, Trey Songz and Will Smith’s daughter Willow, who premiered her new video.

The top nominee of the night was West, who was up for seven awards. Beyonce had six and her husband five.

Beyonce was nominated twice for show’s top award, video of the year, with “Love On Top” and “Countdown.” Two collaborative songs by West and Jay-Z, “Otis” and ” … in Paris,” were also up for the prize. The fifth nominee is Usher’s “Climax.”

West and Jay-Z released the platinum album “Watch the Throne” last year. West was also to perform at the awards with his G.O.O.D. Music label mates.

The most-buzzed about performance, though, may be a tribute planned for Whitney Houston. It will include the late singer’s mother, Cissy Houston, and other female singers, though BET didn’t release those names.

The show scored its best ratings in 2009 when it paid tribute to Michael Jackson, who had died three days earlier. The event had 10.2 million viewers.

The 2012 BET Awards will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.





Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/musicmesfin



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