Beyonce Knowles and Chris Brown won top honours at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards last night (01.07.12).

'Love on Top' singer Beyonce was named Best Female R&B artist, while Chris took home the parallel award for Best Male. Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne project was named Best Group.

Elsewhere, Nicki Minaj was named Best Female Hip-Hop Artist for the third year running.

Accepting her award, she said: ''I really, really appreciate BET for keeping this category alive, and I appreciate all the female rappers doing their thing, past, present and future.''

The awards, held at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, also featured a series of emotional tributes to Whitney Houston - who was found dead in her hotel room in February - led by Mariah Carey.

She said: ''I miss my friend. I miss hearing her voice and laughter, but we'll always have the music. We'll always have that voice we fell in love with, she inspired us all, we'll always have my friend Whitney Houston.''

Singer Monica performed Whitney's 'I Love The Lord', followed by Brandy who sung 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' followed by 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'.

Whitney's brother Gary then sang 'Where You Are', followed by her mother Cissy, who performed 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', which received a standing ovation.

Tributes were also paid to the late Donna Summer, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius at the awards.

Bet Awards 2012, full list of winners:

Best Group: Kanye West and Jay-Z

Best Actor: Kevin Hart

Best New Artist: Big Sean

Best Male R&B artist: Chris Brown

Best Collaboration: Wale featuring Miguel 'Lotus Flower Bomb'

Best Gospel: Yolanda Adams

Best Female R&B Artist: Beyonce

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year: Jay-Z and Kanye West, 'Otis'

Lifetime Achievement: Frankie Beverly featuring Maze

Humanitarian Award: Rev. Al Sharpton

Viewer's Choice Award: Mindless Behavior

Video Director of the Year: Beyonce and Alan Ferguson

Fandemonium Award: Chris Brown

Centric Award: Common

Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams

Sportsman of the Year: Kevin Durant