Pharrell kicked off the BET Awards with a playful performance featuring Missy Elliott and host Chris Rock was successful with back-to-back jokes, helping take attention away from a fatal shooting and a separate stabbing at unsanctioned parties celebrating Sunday's show.
One person was killed and five injured in two separate incidents ahead of the show at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles police said. BET said the events were "unauthorized and unaffiliated with the BET Awards."
Rock didn't mention the incidents. He won over the audience with jokes about Donald Sterling and the series "Scandal."
The death and four of the injuries followed gunfire early Sunday at a restaurant. Separately, a man was stabbed in the stomach Saturday night at a nightclub.