2017 BET Awards – Show – Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Remy Ma beat her bitter rival Nicki Minaj to the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist prize at the 2017 BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (25.06.17).

The 37-year-old rapper ended her rival's seven-year winning streak at the annual bash and Ma, who was released from prison in 2014, said her success proved that people can bounce back from adversity.

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The hip-hop star - who praised her mentor Fat Joe and husband, rapper Papoose - explained: "I wanna thank God first and foremost. You can make mistakes and come back."

Ma courted controversy earlier this year when she blasted Nicki on the diss song 'Shether', which was well received by fans and critics.

Nicki, for her part, never officially responded to the much-discussed diss record.

Elsewhere at the Microsoft Theater, New Edition were handed the Lifetime Achievement Award and received a lengthy tribute, before they took to the stage to perform 'Can You Stand the Rain' and 'Mr. Telephone Man'.

Meanwhile, Beyonce won five awards in total, including the Album of the Year crown for 'Lemonade' and she was also named Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.

Beyonce was absent from the bash after giving birth to twins earlier this month, but her sister Solange was present to enjoy her own success on the night, winning the Centric award.

After collecting her prize, Solange held a moment of silence for the minorities who have died at the hands of police officers, including Trayvon Martin.

Another notable winner on the night was Chance the Rapper, who earned the Humanitarian Award after he raised $2 million dollars for Chicago public schools.

In a taped message, Chance was praised by former US First Lady Michelle Obama, who revealed that she and her husband Barack have followed Chance "since he was a baby rapper".

Michelle said: "Chance is showing our young people that they matter. Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves."