The 51st annual NAACP Image Awards kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on BET, live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The show will also air on other ViacomCBS stations, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Pop, Smithsonian Channel, TV Land and VH1. The show honors the creative achievements of people of color in movies, television, music and writing.
Even if you are not near a television Saturday night, you can still stream the ceremony on BET's own streaming app BET+, which is available for most platforms. The service costs $9.99 a month, and includes a fee seven-day trial before you are charged. BET is also live-steaming the red carpet show on Twitter, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
On Feb. 4, the NAACP announced Rihanna will receive the special President's Award in honor of her "groundbreaking career as an artist and musician, but (someone who) has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant." The award has been presented every year since 1987, and went to actor Danny Glover last year. Past recipients include John Legend, Spike Lee, Kerry Washington, Venus and Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali and Ella Fitzgerald.
Black-ish star Anthony Anderson, who has won five NAACP Image Awards, will host the show for the seventh consecutive year. There will also be performances from Jill Scott, H.E.R. and Skip Marley.
Many of the awards have already been handed out, but many of the major ones are held back for the broadcast. The biggest award is Entertainer of the Yea, and the nominees are Angela Basset, Billy Porter, Lizzo, Regina King and Tyler Perry. ABC's Black-ish already won Outstanding Comedy Series, while OWN's Greenleaf won Outstanding Drama Series.
On the music side, Beyonce's Homecoming: The Live Album won Outstanding Album and Lil Nas X won Outstanding New Artist. The Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction award went to Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's The Revisioners, while Toni Morrison's The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations won Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction.
The movie categories were left for the broadcast. The nominees for Outstanding Motion Picture are Dolemite Is My Name, Harriet, Just Mercy, Queen & Slim and Us. Cynthia Erivo, whose performance as Harriet Tubman in Harriet was the only performance by a person of color to earn an Oscar nomination in 2020, is up for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.
"Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement about this year's awards. "This year's nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we're proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances."
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