The R&B singer, who has had a string of legal and personal woes in recent years, also took home the Fandemonium Award and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award for Only, his collaboration with Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne at the U.S. TV network's annual prizegiving, which celebrates the best music and movies by African-Americans and other minorities over the past year.
Upon accepting the fan-voted Fandemonium prize, Brown acknowledged how much has changed since he was last on the stage in 2014, especially after finding out he is the father of a young girl with former flame, model Nia Guzman.
He said, "A lot has changed in my life. A lot of mistakes, a lot of lessons learned. The thing I'm most thankful for is my daughter. At the end of the day, love is love... My fans - when I'm in jail, (song) Loyal was number one. Last year, I was fat on this stage, dancing, trying to get my stuff together - but right now, I can only say I'm so thankful and happy to have my loyal fans right now, because without y'all I can't do my music."
Meanwhile, Beyonce, who was not present for the prizegiving, was the top female of the night, also scoring three trophies, for Best Female R&B/Pop artist, Video of the Year (7/11) and Video Director of the Year.
And days after announcing her highly-anticipated comeback tour and her first album in seven years, Janet Jackson was feted with the inaugural Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award in recognition of her iconic music videos over the years.
R&B stars Tinashe, Jason DeRulo, and Ciara honoured Jackson by dancing to her greatest hits, including Rhythm Nation, which Jackson said during her acceptance speech was a track created with the goal of uniting people of different backgrounds as one community.
She said, "25 years ago we created Rhythm Nation hoping the world would be a better place, but today there's even more to be done."
Jackson also took the opportunity to thank her fans, husband Wissam Al Mana, and parents Katherine and Joe Jackson, who were in the front row for their daughter's big night.
Motown legend Smokey Robinson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sean 'Diddy' Combs, as R&B stars Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke and Ne-Yo paid tribute to Robinson by performing a medley of his tracks, and he later joined the trio to sing his classic track My Girl.
R&B singer Anthony Hamilton and Gary Clark, Jr. teamed up to perform a tribute medley to the major soul and blues artists who died in the past year, singing tunes by Percy Sledge, Ben E. King and B.B. King, while a photo montage of other black entertainers, and the nine people killed during the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting last week (ends21Jun15), flashed across the screens. Gospel singer Donnie MCClurkin also paid tribute to late gospel legend Andrae Crouch with a stirring rendition of his song Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.
Other stars taking the stage for performances included Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, the cast of hit U.S. hip-hop drama Empire, and Patti LaBelle, who made a surprise appearance as she joined Tamar Braxton and K. Michelle as they sang her track If Only You Knew.
The full list of winners is:
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyonce
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: Chris Brown
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Group: Rae Sremmurd
Best New Artist: Sam Smith
Best Gospel Artist: Lecrae
Best Collaboration: Common and John Legend, Glory
Video of the Year: Beyonce, 7/11
Video Director of the Year: Beyonce, Ed Burke & Todd Tourso
Best International Act: Africa: Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Best International Act: U.K.: Stormzy
Fandemonium Award: Chris Brown
Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award: Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown, Only
Centric Award: The Weeknd, Earned It
Best Actor: Terrence Howard
Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson
Best Movie: Selma
Sportsman of the Year: Stephen Curry
Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Youngstars Award: Mo’Ne Davis
Humanitarian Award: Tom Joyner
Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award: Janet Jackson
Lifetime Achievement Award: Smokey Robinson