By Jonathan Landrum, Jr.
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Beyoncé was named entertainer of the year at the 50th annual NAACP Image Awards that highlighted works by entertainers and writers of color.
After Beyoncé accepted the award Saturday night, the superstar paid homage to the people who were nominated in the same category as her. She beat out Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Regina King, Chadwick Boseman and director Ryan Coogler.
“Regina King, I love you so much. You taught us patience, persistence and how to be masterful in your craft,” she said. “Chadwick Boseman is teaching children to dream and to be seen as kings. LeBron James has taught us the strength of all forms, leading by example and providing education to our kids. Ryan Coogler tells our stories in a way that celebrates our history and proves we do have power.”
Beyoncé added: “I'm honored to be included among all of you, and to be a part of a vital and thriving community. Thank you to the NAACP.”
Beyoncé released a joint album last year with her husband, Jay-Z, called “Everything is Love.” The prolific singer also paid tribute to historically Black colleges and universities, as well as the dance troupes and step teams during her groundbreaking two-hour Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival performance. She also performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is known as the national Black anthem, at the festival and donated $100,000 to four Black universities shortly after her performance.
Jay-Z received the President's Award for the rapper's public service achievements. He was recognized for his efforts through his Shawn Carter Foundation and serving as co-founder of the REFORM Alliance.
The rapper executive produced the documentaries “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” and “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” along with an animated documentary short called “The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail.”
Jay-Z quoted Abraham Lincoln after he accepted his award and dedicated his trophy to his 93-year-old grandmother Hattie White, saying: “She's so full of life.” He also paid homage to the women in his life, including his wife, Beyoncé, who smiled while her husband made his speech.
“It's not the amount of years in your life. It's the amount of life in your years,” he said. “That quote embodies my beautiful grandmother.”
“Black Panther” was awarded best motion picture.
The superhero film was a cultural phenomenon. It earned $700 million domestically during it theatrical run.
“Black Panther” won in several other categories, including best actor in a motion picture (Boseman), supporting actor in a motion picture (Michael B. Jordan) and directing in a motion picture (Coogler).
Anthony Anderson returned as host of the show and won for best actor in a comedy series. He opened the awards speaking about “Black excellence” in film, hoping his behavior wouldn't get him removed as host and made several jokes including one about Kanye West not being invited to cookouts.
Anderson brought his mother onstage with him and dedicated his award to “the woman who raised me in Watts and pushed me to become an actor.”
“Everything I do on screen is for you momma,” Anderson said of his mother, who clutched his award.
Donald Glover, who won four Grammys this year, won for his directing on “Atlanta.” On the music side, his alter-ego Childish Gambino's song “This is America” won for best music video.
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