June 26, 2002 06:11 PM

Grammy may not have smiled upon R&B sensation India.Arie this year, but she made up for that snub Tuesday night. The Atlanta-based 26-year-old was named best female R&B artist at the second annual BET Awards at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, presented by cable’s Black Entertainment Network. (Alicia Keys, 21, who swept the Grammys with five awards, lost to Indie.Arie in the BET competition.) Looking back at losing at the Grammys last February, Arie, whose year-old debut album, “Acoustic Soul,” has sold more than 1.5 million copies, was philosophical, reports Reuters. Speaking backstage, she said: “I answer all disappointment and negativity and everything with a song. That’s my way of releasing things. And a smile.” Other winners included Usher as top male R&B performer and Muhammad Ali, who was presented with a humanitarian award by Will Smith, who was named best actor for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of the boxing legend in “Ali.” The champ’s pugilist daughter, Laila Ali, was named female athlete of the year.

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