Chris Brown got the 2013 BET Awards off to an energetic start on Sunday night (June 30), opening the show with his infectious hit "Fine China," and showing some love to the late Aaliyah, before Nicki Minaj descended from the ceiling to debut their collab, "Love More."
Brown hit the stage with his backup dancers in tow, sporting a black leather jacket while all the members of his crew donned sweatshirts with a neon "X" across them, a nod to his upcoming July 16 album. For "Fine China," Breezy kept it thematic, with images of Chinese fire dragons and fire lanterns flashing across the LED screen behind him, as he delivered his usual flawless choreography.
As Breezy transitioned into his latest single, "Don't Think They Know," which features vocals from Aaliyah, he turned things down a notch. Black-and-white images of the late songstress appeared on the screen as he began to sing, "Don't let them tell you any different/ They don't know about us," and the stage eventually filled up with images of candles.
With his backup dancers suddenly equipped with torches as well, it looked as if Brown was hosting a candlelight vigil for the late R&B singer on the Nokia Theatre stage.
After a couple minutes of calm, however, Nicki Minaj made a guest appearance to help Brown wrap up his set. The YMCMB rapper descended from a platform in the ceiling, rapping from high above the crowd in her fitted black pants and silver-studded bustier. Nicki delivered her verse on Brown's new track, "Love More," which should appear on X.
Fans on Twitter were thrilled to see Nicki join Chris Brown for the show's opener, with even dancehall star Mr. Vegas tweeting that things were off to a good start.
Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj just nice up BET awards....looks like it going to be great night of performances!!— Mr. Vegas (@MrVegasMusic) July 1, 2013
My two faves opened the shoow!! @chrisbrown & @NICKIMINAJ They did that! #BETAwards— iEndorseTHEREUP (@latriceey_MINAJ) July 1, 2013The 2013 BET Awards are underway live from Los Angeles! MTV News has got you covered on the red carpet, plus show highlights, winners and more!