Rather than mourn Michael Jackson's death, the celebrities who took to the stage at the 2009 BET Awards celebrated the memory of the King of Pop with pumped-up performances, heartfelt words and a surprise appearance by the star's sister Janet Jackson.
The ceremony, held at the Shrine Auditorium, kicked off with a tribute to young Michael, as '80s idols New Edition dressed in funky '70s-era clothes to sing the Jackson 5's "ABC" and "The Love You Save."
Host Jamie Foxx emerged wearing an outfit reminiscent of Michael Jackson's famous "Beat It" gear: red leather jacket, cropped black pants, high white socks and black loafers. The Oscar winner then performed a dance sequence from Jackson's video, moonwalking (and stumbling) across the stage to honor the pop superstar.
Other notable performances included Beyoncé's costume-changing medley of "Ave Maria" and Sarah McLachlan's "Angel," Ciara's take on Jackson's "Heal the World" and Queen Latifah's duet with Mary Mary on the gospel duo's "God in Me."
Tributes to the late star continued throughout the night, and father Joe Jackson shed a tear in the audience after Ne-Yo's performance of the King of Pop's "Lady in My Life."
(Jackson protégé Usher told E! News he had hoped to make the ceremony but couldn't get back from overseas in time; "I look forward to seeing the show and I plan to work on a tribute to Michael Jackson when I return," he said.)
As the awards show came to an end, Janet Jackson surprised the crowd by taking the stage to give thanks to fans for their support in the wake of her brother's death.
"My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was just too painful, so they elected me to be here," Janet Jackson said.
"I'd just like to say, To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family. And he will forever live in all of our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much."
After she left the stage, Foxx and Ne-Yo closed the show with the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There."
Here's the complete list of winners from the 2009 BET Awards: