With the “BET Awards” getting ready to take place this weekend, SOHH spoke with BET Vice President of Programming Stephen Hill to learn more about this year’s ceremony.

Speaking on this year’s host, Queen Latifah, Hill revealed how surprised he was to learn of the rap pioneer’s interest to lead the 10th anniversary show.

“We were wonderfully and pleasantly surprised when she was like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do, I’m in to host,'” Hill told SOHH. “I had bought flowers, gift certificates for restaurants and now I get to keep them. [laughs] So yeah, she was gracious and the thing that makes a great host is that our hosts are involved and she’s been involved on the creative [end] since the word ‘Go.’ Literally before the contract was signed, she was already in. So we appreciate her time and her talent and we know she’s gonna make an incredible show.” (SOHH)

Hill also said there would be an emphasis on shining light on individual achievements made in local communities.

“I love the fact that over the past two years and this year, especially, we’re highlighting people you may have never heard of and talking about what they’re doing in communities,” Hill added. “Like we [showcased] the three doctors from Newark, New Jersey last year and people working in their communities and we just shine the light on them. I think the idea is to generally spark the idea for people sitting at home to do some work in this. In this year’s show, we have a lot of technology [emphasized,] in terms of the screens and we’ll have our social networking, you’ll see how we use Twitter inside the show.” (SOHH)

This year’s event will feature a variety of star-studded performances.

On June 27th, Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium will see one of the most exciting hip-hop line-ups take to the stage for the 10th annual BET Awards. Heavyweights such as Kanye West and T.I. will mark their comebacks, and now Eminem, Usher, Alicia Keys and T-Pain have been added to the performance roster. Reports by Rolling Stone indicate that DJ Khaled, T-Pain, Ludacris, and Rick Ross will unite for a performance of “All I Do Is Win” with a special guest. (Billboard)

Jay-Z and Beyonce lead this year’s ceremony with the most nods.

Rapper Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce, will compete in three categories at the 2010 BET Awards. They’re both nominated for video of the year, best collaboration and viewers’ choice. Jay-Z received two nominations in the video of the year category, which includes newcomers B.o.B and Melanie Fiona. Jay-Z is the top contender with five nominations; he’s also up for best male hip-hop artist. Beyonce, Fiona and Alicia Keys, who follow with four nods each, are all up for best R&B female artist. R&B crooner Trey Songz also received four nominations. (ABC News)

The annual BET ceremony is set to kick-off Sunday, June 27th from Los Angeles, California.