The 52nd NAACP Image Awards ceremony on Saturday (March 27) is going to be lit. Not only is Anthony Anderson, the emcee of all jokes, set to host this year's awards ceremony, LeBron James, NBA superstar, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, is scheduled to receive the prestigious President’s Award.
“LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes of his generation, and through his work both on and off the court, has transcended beyond sports to become a cultural icon,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, who will present the award to James during the LIVE TV special. “This is nowhere more evident than over the past year, where LeBron has used his platform to speak out on issues that were directly affecting the Black community including voting initiatives, police brutality, and racial inequality. LeBron epitomizes the type of leadership, sportsmanship, and commitment to social justice that we seek to highlight with our President’s Award.”
The event will mark the eighth time Anderson has hosted the NAACP Image Awards. He first hosted the 45th annual ceremony in 2014, and has presided over every ceremony ever since.
The two-hour LIVE TV special, which will air on BET, Saturday, March 27th at 8/7c, and will be simulcast across ViacomCBS networks including CBS, BET Her, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount, Pop, Smithsonian, TV Land, VH1, BET PLUTO, and CMT.
Besides looking to escape pandemic fatigue, here are 10 reasons we are looking forward to the ceremony:
It would take all day to list all of his accomplishments, but here are few: In addition to his incredible achievements on the court – which include four NBA MVP Awards, four NBA Championships, four NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals – off the court, James has used his platform to inspire and uplift others through the LeBron James Family Foundation, which invests its time, resources and passion into creating generational change for kids and families through a focus on education and co-curricular educational initiatives including the groundbreaking, public I PROMISE School, I PROMISE Village by Graduate Hotels that provides transitional housing for families, and House Three Thirty that will offer job training and financial health programming, as well as More Than A Vote, a coalition of Black athletes and artists LeBron founded in 2020 that is dedicated to educating, energizing and protecting Black voters.
The President’s Award is presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service, with previous recipients including Rihanna, JAY-Z, Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Muhammad Ali, among others.
The emcee is an award-winning actor-comedian. He is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor and currently the star and executive producer of ABC’s multi-award winning sitcom, Black-ish. He also holds the record for the most wins in the NAACP Image Award category of Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series with six wins.
The actor-comedian is scheduled to be inducted in the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, with longtime friend and collaborator, Arsenio Hall, presenting him with the honor. Previous inductees include Oprah, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee, Ray Charles and Sidney Poitier. The most recent honorees to be inducted were Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Paris Barclay in 2014.
VIRTUAL RED CARPET EXPERIENCE
What’s an awards ceremony without a red carpet experience, and who better to head up the experience than Tanika Ray? The week-long 52nd NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience from March 22-26 allows fans to join the celebration of “Black Excellence'' — including the nightly non-televised awards program, virtual red carpet, curated conversation series, a theatre featuring past performances and speeches, which is streaming at naacpimageawards.net.
The old school hip hop icon with the unmistakable Brooklyn accent will serve at the night’s voice over announcer. When she hit the rap scene in the late 1980s, she became the first female rapper to release a full album, Lyte as a Rock. She translated her success into acting, playing herself on television shows In Living Color, Moesha, NY Undercover and My Wife and Kids. She went on to greater challenges in acting, winning roles as characters other than herself on television shows like In the House, Get Real, Half & Half and The District.
ALL STAR PRESENTERS
Throughout the evening there will be appearances from Andra Day, Arsenio Hall, Cynthia Erivo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Obama, Misty Copeland, Regina King, Samuel L. Jackson, the cast of Tyler Perry's Sistas and Tracy Morgan.
The Grammy Award-winning singer, who will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his debut album Urban Hang Suite, is slated to perform. The 47-year-old Brooklyn-based crooner previously won an Image Award for Outstanding Male Artist in 2010 and again in 2017. But his 1996 debut album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, paved the way for a remarkable career, which has stood the test of time.
SWIZZ BEATZ AND ALICIA KEYS
Lucky us! Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her producer husband Swizz Beatz are scheduled to appear at the celebration. Both are celebrities in their own right, but their love story is one for the ages. In 2020, they celebrated 10 years of marriage, sharing sweet tributes to each other.
PASS THE MIC AFTER PARTY
We are super excited to see who DJ Cassidy passes the mic to at his Pass The Mic: The BET After Party. The event is scheduled to air immediately after the NAACP Image Awards on March 27, and is the first of six specials set to follow the network’s annual awards shows or other major programming.“When I created Pass The Mic last spring in my living room, I simply wanted to connect people through music and never imagined I would soon be producing it for television on BET,” he said.
Watch the 52nd Annual NAACP awards on BET on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 8/7C