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CASTING CORNER
 
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Stars Get Their Groove On At BET Awards

Janet Jackson stepped in late, Beyoncé was stunning as always in silver satin and Usher had the house burning. The 4th Annual BET Awards brought out rappers, rockers and one hilarious host: Mo'Nique.

"More is less and less is more and that's what we're doing tonight on the floor," Mo'Nique told us before the show, as she laid out the plan for the night. "I'm a rapper and you didn't know that."

But that didn't come close to preparing us for how the comedienne kicked off the show doing her best Beyoncé impression -- even as the beautiful original cracked up in the front row.

Representing "Extra" on the red carpet, former "American Idol" star Kimberly Locke ran into some of her "AI" friends, including Tamyra Gray and Ruben Studdard. Tamyra told us it was Jay-Z she was most looking forward to.

Inside, Jay-Z lived up to expectations as he rapped and rocked with Kid Rock and Dave Navarro. Meanwhile, Jay's girl, Beyoncé, picked up two awards, Janet Jackson got the crowd jumping and Outkast was a huge hit.

A fter his own show-stopping performance and two awards, Usher sat down with "Extra" backstage to give us some insight into his performance. "I wanted to shock them," he revealed. "I wanted to come up with something left-of-center that everybody would remember."

But it was Mo'Nique's moment that Usher won't forget. "She really works it out for big girls," he acknowledged. "She was doing it."

Danny Glover got the Humanitarian Award with a special videotaped tribute from buddy Mel Gibson and there were also tributes onstage and off to a legend gone too soon -- Ray Charles.

Jamie Foxx, who's about to play Ray on the big screen, told us about meeting Charles while preparing for what he calls the role of a lifetime: "I spent a little bit of time, and Ray comes in and Ray said, ‘Ah Jamie, I don't know.'"

Denzel Washington won for best actor, while Halle Berry, who couldn't make the show, won Best Actress.

All in all, from music to movies, TV and more, it was BET's biggest night ever.

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