Winners include Wizkid, Trevor Noah, Issa Rae, Jennifer Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, Will Smith, and more
Following the week-long virtual experience, NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” winners during a special broadcast on BET Africa hosted by seven-time NAACP Image Awards winner Anthony Anderson and presented by Wells Fargo.
Wizkid won the Outstanding International Song and Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album categories for his hit song, Essence, featuring Tems and Justin Beiber, while Trevor Noah won the Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble. The Daily Show, hosted by Trevor Noah, also won in the Outstanding Short-Form Series – Comedy or Drama and Outstanding Variety or Game Show (Series or Special) categories. Other winners included Jennifer Hudson (Entertainer of the Year and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Respect”), Issa Rae (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “Insecure”), Anthony Anderson (Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”), Nikole Hannah-Jones (Social Justice Impact) and “The Harder They Fall” (Outstanding Motion Picture).
“We are proud and excited about the NAACP’s recognition for the duo of Wizkid and Trevor Noah with wins in their respective award categories. It reaffirms their credentials as the best at their craft. Their dedication to creating amazing work and passion for excellence will continue to be recognised across the globe,” said Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Paramount in Africa, Peer Lead, BET International.
During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented the President’s Award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the U.S. and around the world. “Through the work of their foundation and their unwavering commitment to the causes we believe in and share, [The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] have demonstrated they are so deserving of this honour,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson.
NAACP Image Award winner and Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson was recognized with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Jackson quoting Marion Wright: “Service is the rent we pay for being. The very purpose of life and not something we do in our spare time,” prompted the audience to continue “to put [their] legs, [their] bodies, and our voices to work to make sure that people do get out and vote no matter what they do keep us from doing it.”
The ceremony also featured a spectacular performance by nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer and two-time Academy Award-nominated actress and producer Mary J. Blige. Additional guest appearances included Kerry Washington, Lil Nas X, LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Strahan, Morgan Freeman, Regina King, Paula Patton, Simu Liu, Tiffany Haddish, and Zendaya.
The award show followed a week-long NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience, which invited fans to join the Image Awards in a celebration of the outstanding achievements and performances of people of colour across more than 80 competitive categories – including the non-televised awards program, and a curated conversation series.