Rapper/actor Common was the first winner at the Bet Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (01Jul12). The star was presented with the 2012 Centric Award on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium.
Common was the first male to claim the honour, which is awarded to the best soul and/or traditional R&B artist.
Introduced to the Bet Awards in 2006, previous winners have included Monica and Jazmine Sullivan.
As this year's prizegiving ceremony gets underway, urban music fans can expect to see reclusive D'Angelo's return to the limelight, performances from Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Chris Brown and a tribute to Whitney Houston, among other highlights.
Kanye West kicked off the show with a spectacular light show.