The Final Call was among hundreds of reporters on hand to capture the moment.
"When we heard the news about Michael Jackson's passing on Thursday, we knew immediately that we were going to have to change the nature of this show...Michael Jackson has been so important to the world, our network and our country," said BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee.
BACKSTAGE AT THE BET AWARDS...
photos: Charlene Muhammad
Michael Jackson's father Joe Jackson. His sister, Janet, appeared briefly on stage.