The 2010Â BET Awards took place last night, and they drew a significant amount of Twitter chatter.Â Â Â Using RowFeeder, we tracked over 250,000 tweets with the hashtag #BETawards during the show and the following day (~168K during the telecast). The star performers and presenters were heavily mentioned along with the #BETawards hashtag.Â Â Virtually in hiding since his abuse scandal with then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009, Chris Brown performed “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror” in a tribute toÂ Michael Jackson, his musical hero.Â Â Just aÂ few verses intoÂ “Man in the Mirror,” Brown broke down (literally) in tearsÂ Â as the audience finished the rest of the song.Â Whether Twitter’ers believed Brown was sincerely mourning the death of his iconÂ combined withÂ his own painful past 15 months, or if the tears were merely a PR ploy, led to much Twitter chatter about the performance.
As you can see in the time graphÂ above of the show’s Twitter activity, at 9:35 (EDT) during ChrisÂ Brown’s performance, 51% of the total tweets regarding the #BETawards mentionedÂ Brown.Â Â Tweets regarding the top 5 most-mentioned performers (Chris Brown, Prince, Alicia Keys, Drake, and host Queen Latifah) seemed to spike while the performer was on stage, while Queen Latifah, the host, drew consistent mentions throughout the telecast.Â In the pie graph below, you can see that Brown indeed ruled Twitter with over 1/5Â of performer mentions being about him, followed by Prince (who won the Lifetime Achievement Award), Alicia Keys, Drake, and Queen Latifah.Â TheÂ “Others” category comprised ofÂ the rest of theÂ featured performers, which included the likes of Kanye West, Usher, and T.I..
The Awards drew, as expected, a substantial amount of tweets from the large metropolitan areas like New York (which had residents like Alicia Keys and Diddy perform), Los Angeles (host city), and Chicago.Â However, there were some anomalies in the data regarding city population vs. # of tweets about the show.Â For instance, 11% of the total tweets came out of Atlanta, whose strongÂ hip-hop culture along with homegrownÂ performers like T.I. and Ludacris led to much Twitter activity throughout the show.Â Other smallerÂ cities with signicantly high number of tweets were musically rich Memphis, TN, and Tallahassee, FL, which has a population of 185,000 but was the #14 most tweeted city about the awards.Â Â Conspicuously absent from the list of most-tweeted Metro Areas was the San Fransisco/Oakland Bay Area, usually a giant player in Twitter chatter yet was relatively silent during the awards.Â The presence of smaller markets on Twitter, combined with the heavy activity around this pop culture event, suggests that Twitter is indeed becoming mainstream.