"You can't hate on hard work and talent," he said. "This awards show will show people a lot about where I come from." The show will air Nov. 15 in syndication.
When hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs took the stage, he offered brief words for R&B singer Gerald Levert and Ed Bradley, who both died last week."Let's celebrate their lives," Diddy said. "People will forever miss y'all."
Rappers Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri and Young Jeezy teamed with super-producer Lil' Jon to kick off the show with the 2001 hit, "Welcome To Atlanta." Dupri, who won best producer, said he felt humbled for having the event in Atlanta.
"For the awards to be in my city and I win something for producing, it's exciting," he said. "The outcome was something I could never imagine."