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Chris Brown tops Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West with six 2011 BET Awards nominations

May 18, 2011 |  4:11 pm

Chris_brown Look at Chris Brown now.

Last year ,the 22-year-old made his most public plea for redemption at the BET Awards, which occurred after he pleaded guilty for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna, with a tear-stained tribute to his idol, the late Michael Jackson. Then the question was whether Brown would be able to make a comeback.

This year, the singer answers his naysayers by leading the pack of nominees for the 2011 BET Awards, the network announced Tuesday.

Brown, who scored his first No. 1 album with “F.A.M.E.,” racked up six nods, including for best male R&B artist, video of the year and the Viewers’ Choice Award.

Lil Wayne didn’t let the fact that he spent a great chunk of 2010 behind bars stop him from tallying up some nods. The rapper is up for best male hip-hop artist alongside Kanye West, B.o.B, Rick Ross and his Young Money signee Drake. He shares three nominations with Brown for their hit “Look at Me Now,” including one for the Viewers’ Choice Award in which he’s a dual nominee: His hit "6 Foot 7 Foot" was also recognized.

Rihanna continued her award season luck with four nominations, including two in the best collaboration category: one for "What's My Name" featuring Drake and the other for West's "All of the Lights."

Also earning nods: Willow Smith scored three, including for best new artist (she’s up against Bruno Mars, Miguel, Wiz Khalifa and label mate J. Cole) and her second consecutive nomination in the YoungStars category; Nicki Minaj, an easy lock for best female hip-hop artist; Jennifer Hudson; Cee Lo Green; Usher; and Beyonce.

The list of nominations didn't go without backlash, as snubbed artists such as Trina and Keyshia Cole took to Twitter to respond in very different ways.

"Its like this. Been on the scene 7 years. I was 21 when I got signed. 7 # 1 records. No awards 4 none of them/still touring. It is Wht it is," Cole tweeted. "These types of thing R the way they R. I'm not upset about any of it in any way. I hope everyone that goes has a wonderful time."

Rapper Trina, who was edged out by Minaj, Master P's daughter Cymphonique, Lola Monroe and Diamond, had harsher, unprintable words for BET.

The 2011 BET Awards are scheduled to air live June 26 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

— Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Chris Brown performs on BET's 106 & Park show in New York in March. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press.