Beyonce Knowles and her Dreamgirls co-star Jennifer Hudson emerged big winners at this year's BET Award ceremony.

Beyonce, who led all nominees with six, took home two trophies for Best Female R & B Artist and Video Of The Year for "Irreplaceable." She also delivered a flashy performance of her dance track "Get Me Bodied."

American Idol contestant-turned-Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson won awards for Best New Artist and Best Actress. Also earning the spotlight during the three-hour ceremony was Lifetime Achievement Award winner Diana Ross, who urged younger performers to "keep it classy" and refrain from foul behavior.

O'Jays singer Eddie Levert led an all-star tribute to his son Gerald Levert, an R & B favorite who died last November, while Public Enemy saluted James Brown, who died on Christmas Day.

Humanitarian Award winner Don Cheadle was honored for his efforts to raise awareness of genocidal conditions in the African region of Darfur.

The Black Entertainment Television network established the BET Awards in 2001 to honor African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment. This year's ceremony took place June 26 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.