BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced that actor/comedian Kevin Hart has been tapped to host this year’s BET AWARDS, ranked among the Top 5 Cable Award Shows every year among total viewers. The brightest night in music will broadcast LIVE from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.* on BET.
For over a decade the BET AWARDS has reigned as the biggest family event rivaling all top awards shows. Having escalated each year in industry influence with A-list celebrity nominations, star-studded appearances and one-of-a-kind performances, the BET AWARDS has undoubtedly established itself as the hottest ticket on television.
The brightest stars in music, acting and sports will appear and perform at this year’s BET AWARDS which recognizes the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 20 categories. Leading the pack this year is Chris Brown with an impressive 6 nominations across multiple categories: Best Male R&B Artist, Best Collaboration (for which he holds two nominations), Video of the Year, Best Actor and Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice. Closely behind him is Lil Wayne with 5 nominations: Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (with fellow nominee Chris Brown), Video of the Year and Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice for his collaborations with Chris Brown and Cory Gunz. Rounding out the list and tied with 4 nominations each are Kanye West, Rihanna and Drake.
“When we asked folks who should host this year’s BET AWARDS online, in the streets, among other celebs and throughout social media, one name came back to us loud and clear: Kevin Hart,” said Stephen Hill, BET’s president of music programming and specials. “He is blue flame right now and we are looking forward to working with him on the show,” stated Hill. “His energy, wit and the always fantastic performances will make for yet another must see event—and the ‘Chocolate Droppa’ might even get a verse in the show,” he added.
Kevin Hart burst onto the scene as one of the most versatile comedy actors in film and television. Hart is currently touring the nation on his “Laugh at My Pain” tour. He is the number one comedian on Ticketmaster and in February 2011, Hart sold out the Nokia Theater two nights in a row to break a record previously set by Eddie Murphy. Hart will spend the summer of 2011 filming lead roles in two new movies. In July, he will start working on Screen Gem’s “Think Like A Man,” the comedy is based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling 2009 book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Hart will then start work on the Nick Stoller comedy “Five Year Engagement” with producer Judd Apatow and Universal.
Hart was last seen in “Little Fockers” and “Death at a Funeral,” alongside Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Martin Lawrence. He also co-starred with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in “Fool’s Gold,” as well as opposite Steve Carell in “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” Hart’s additional film credits include: “Soul Plane” opposite Tom Arnold, Method Man and Snoop Dogg, “Not Easily Broken,” “Extreme Movie,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “Epic Movie,” “The Last Stand,” “Scary Movie 4,” “In the Mix,” “Meet Dave” and “Superhero Movie.” In 2009, Hart’s one-hour comedy special “I’m a Grown Little Man” on Comedy Central was one of the highest-rated specials for the network. Hart was also the host of BET’s classic stand-up comedy series “Comic View: One Mic Stand.”
Sponsors for this year’s BET AWARDS telecast include Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award, Subway Sportsman of the Year and Subway Sportswoman of the Year.