The NAACP Image Awards were established in 1967, to honor outstanding performances in Black theater, music, literature, film and television. Ahead of Saturday’s ceremony, here are a few bits of information you may or may not know about the “most iconic night in Black excellence”:
– The first show was presented on Feb. 4, 1967 by members of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood NAACP branch. Two-hundred guests were welcomed to the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the seasonal ceremony in celebration of their Black peers, friends and colleagues.
– NAACP member Willis Edwards persuaded NBC to broadcast the ceremony for the first time on December 14, 1986. The first live show is said to have aired on FOX in 2007.
– Sidney Poitier, the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, was among the audience during the first ceremony. He was honored with the Hall of Fame award in 2001.
– Beyoncé has the most NAACP Image Award wins in history, with a total of 22 trophies.
– The coveted President’s Award was given to Scandal actress Kerry Washington in 2013. Jay-Z, Rihanna, John Legend and Rev. Jesse Jackson have all received the honor. This year’s recipients are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
– Legendary musician Prince agreed to perform at the 36th awards in 2005, having requested his performance be unedited and uninterrupted. Actress/musician Mary J. Blige is set to perform this year.
– Star of ABC’s Black-ish, Anthony Anderson, will host the show for the ninth consecutive year. He has won seven Lead Actor Image Awards and seven for the show Black-ish.
The 53rd NAACP Image Awards will broadcast live from Los Angeles, Saturday at 8pm ET on BET.
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