Jay-Z is a pretty impressive guy (see: Exhibit A) and the NAACP Image Awards are going to honour his many accomplishments this year by giving the prolific rapper, songwriter, businessman and philanthropist the 2019 President’s Award. This weekend’s ceremony marks the 50th anniversary of the Image Awards so this is a pretty big deal.
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ANNOUNCEMENT: Mogul and culture icon Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter will receive the prestigious President’s Award during the #ImageAwards50. The President’s Award is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service. Tune in live on @tvonetv 9/8c #jayz #HOV 🙌🏽😎
“Shawn Carter has been committed to shedding light on the issues that plague the black community including systematic racism and unjust treatment under the law, utilizing his global platform to create everlasting change,” NAACP president Derrick Johnson said in a press release. “There is no better time than now, as we celebrate our 50th year, to honor him with this award.”
The NAACP President’s Award honours an individual who is not only successful in their field, but who uses their platform to speak out and create positive change for people of colour. Jay is a 22-time Grammy winner, the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the creator of a streaming platform (TIDAL) and has used his influence and voice to fight against racial injustice and push for prison reform in the United States. Through the Shawn Carter Foundation and The REFORM Alliance, he has also brought much-needed attention to systemic issues and vowed to create necessary social and legal change.
Along with the announcement of Jay-Z’s honour, the Image Awards revealed more of the night’s presenters, including Viola Davis, John Legend, Canadian-on-the-rise Stephan James, Vin Diesel, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Van Jones. They join previously announced presenters, Kerry Washington, Chrissy Metz, Trevor Noah, Thandie Newton and Kiki Layne.
The 50th NAACP Image Awards take place on March 30.