Beyonce was the undisputed leader heading into Tuesday's BET Awards.

The 25-year-old singer-actress had a leading six nominations -- twice as many as any other nominee, including female R&B artist, collaboration, video of the year and the viewers' choice award.

Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, Gnarls Barkley and Akon were all triple nominees, while a host of others -- Ludacris, Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, Mary Mary, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, Corrine Bailey Rae and the late Gerald Levert -- scored two nominations each.

But that wasn't all the star power expected at the Black Entertainment Television Awards at the Shrine Auditorium. Other celebrities on the guest list were Al Sharpton, Alicia Keys, Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah, D.L. Hugely and Rihanna.

Comedian Mo'Nique was picked for the third time to preside over a ceremony that includes planned performances by Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, 50 Cent, Diddy, Ciara and Usher.

"We bring together different eras and different genres of music," said Stephen Hill, executive producer of the BET Awards. "It feels like a family reunion."

Besides honors for artists and athletes in 14 categories, the BET show intended to pay tribute to Diana Ross with a lifetime achievement award and name Don Cheadle the year's humanitarian award winner.

Nominees and winners were chosen by a panel of media and entertainment-industry executives.

Now in its seventh year, the BET show -- unlike most of today's televised awards ceremonies -- continues to grow in both audience and star power.

"If you want authentic black culture, which is now pop culture, we've become the destination," Hill said.