Beyonce was the big winner at the BET Awards today.

The 34-year-old singer - who released her latest album Lemonade earlier this year - picked up gongs for Video of the Year, Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice and the Centric Award for Formation at the ceremony.

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And not only did Beyonce emerge as a winner in four categories but she also opened the show with Kendrick Lamar, as the pair gave a powerful performance of her song Freedom.

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Meanwhile, Drake was also a big winner on the night, picking up three gongs: Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Group - with Future - and Best Collaboration for Rihanna's Work.

Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams won the Humanitarian Award and received a standing ovation for his powerful speech.

He said: "This award is not for me. This is for the real organisers all over the country, the activist, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realising that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

"It's kind of basic mathematics: the more we learn about who we are and how we got here the more we will mobilise.

"This award is also for the black women in particular who have spent their lives nurturing everyone before themselves - we can and will do better for you."

Actor Jesse Williams delivered a moving speech upon accepting the Humanitarian Award. Photo / Getty Images
Actor Jesse Williams delivered a moving speech upon accepting the Humanitarian Award. Photo / Getty Images

He went on to say: "Now, what we've been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what's going to happen is we're going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

"We've been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil - black gold! - ghettoising and demeaning our creations and stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

"Just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real. Thank you."

And Prince was honoured with musical medleys from Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, the Roots, and Sheila E.

The full list of BET Awards Winners for 2016 is as follows:


Video of the Year -

Beyonce,

Formation

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist -

Bryson Tiller


Best Female R&B/Pop Artist -

Beyonce


Best Male Hip Hop Artist -

Drake


Best Female Hip Hop Artist -

Nicki Minaj


Best New Artist -

Bryson Tiller


Best Group -

Drake and Future


Best Collaboration -

Rihanna featuring Drake,

Work

Best Gospel -

Kirk Franklin


Youngstars Award -

Amandla Stenberg


Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice -

Beyonce


Centric Award -

Beyonce,

Formation

Video Director of the Year -

Director X


Best Actor -

Michael B. Jordan


Best Actress -

Taraji P. Henson


Best Movie -
Straight Outta Compton

Sportswoman of the Year -

Serena Williams


Sportsman of the Year -

Stephen Curry


Humanitarian Award -

Jesse Williams


Lifetime Achievement -

Samuel L. Jackson


Best International Act, U.K. -

Skepta


Best International Act, Africa -

Wizkid (Nigeria)