The 2023 NAACP Image Awards stage is returning live for the first time in three years at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. In honor of the biggest celebration in Black Hollywood, we are looking back at some of our favorite moments from past shows and giving updates on several of your favorite celebrities.
Many musicians have earned the “Outstanding New Artist” award. However, not many have seen the career of the five recipients below. From number-one albums to successful films, these past award winners have seen astronomical success in their respective genres since taking home the esteemed honor. Keep reading to find out how.
Neo-soul pioneer Erykah Badu took home the win for “Outstanding New Artist” in 1998, beating out several highly talented acts, including Missy Elliott, Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy, Wyclef Jean, and God’s Property.
Since her win, Badu has released several projects, including fan classic Mama’s Gun in 2000, Worldwide Underground, released three years later, and New Ameryka, Parts one and two. She also since became a certified Doula, helping stars like Summer Walker welcome their new bundles of joy.
R&B crooner Chris Brown took “Outstanding New Artist” home in 2006, beating out Bobby V., Keyshia Cole, Leela James, and past collaborator Omarion. Since then, the superstar has earned some of the highest recognition and has even been compared to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson—though he humbly and often declines the honor. He also appeared in several films, including his on-screen debut in Stomp the Yard.
In 2009 Jennifer Hudson was crowned “Outstanding New Artist,” defeating several equally talented musicians, including Anthony David, Estelle, Leona Lewis, and Jazmine Sullivan. Hudson sold millions of records but made a shift into acting. She ultimately became the youngest and second Black woman to become an EGOT member, receiving all four major American entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
In 2021 singer and rapper Doja Cat beat a class of highly talented acts, including Chika, D Smoke, Skip Marley, and r&b newcomer Giveon. The California native’s career has since been filled with success and a storm of accolades including Grammy Award for “Best Pop Duo” for her collaboration with SZA on “Kiss Me More” and XXL’s “Female Rapper of the Year” award in 2022.
TDE’s princess of r&b, SZA, took home the 2018 NAACP Image Awards title of “Outstanding New Artist,” coming up top in a predominantly male group including Khalid, Kevin Ross, Vice Mensa, and singer Demetria McKinney.
The singer-songwriter’s career has since soared, earning several honors, including her first Grammy Award for “Best Pop Duo” for her collaboration “Kiss Me More” with Doja Cat. Her latest album SOS has already seen massive success becoming the first album by a Black woman to sit at the number one spot for three weeks since 2013.
Watch the NAACP Image Awards live on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 8:00 pm ET/PT on BET.