As well as performing a string of hits by famous Nineties trio TLC, the night's best female R'n'B artist had a message of support for presidential candidate Barack Obama
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Diddy, who presented the soul singer with her award, also came out for Mr Obama. "If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America," he told the audience
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Rapper Kanye West was a big winner on the night. One of his two awards was for his collaboration with man-of-the-moment T-Pain - who wore an extravagant, circus-themed outfit to collect his trophy
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Soul star Alicia joins stars coming out in support of Barack Obama

25 JUNE 2008
Although the night was about the best offerings on the urban music scene, there was one person in particular who - despite not being present - had the attention of the star-studded audience at Tuesday's BET awards - US presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Alicia Keys and Diddy, plus several other artists, pledged their support to the man who's hoping to become the first ever African-American president of the United States.

"Together we can do anything. Obama, y'all!" announced soul diva Alicia, who took home the best female R'n'B artist gong before wowing the crowd with a medley of old-school TLC and En Vogue hits.

"If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America," Diddy urged the audience, which included Umbrella singer Rihanna and former Spice Girl Mel B.

Rapper Kanye West met up with a hero of his own on the night. "We're blessed to be in this man's presence!" he announced as he shared the stage with urban star T-Pain, with whom he shared the best collaboration trophy for his song Good Life. Kanye also scooped the best male hip-hop artist gong.

The night's lifetime achievement honour went to soul icon Al Green, who performed an energetic medley of his hits which had the celeb-studded audience on its feet.