Chadwick Boseman Won a Posthumous Golden Globe & His Wife’s Speech Brought Us to Tears

Chadwick Boseman, Taylor Simone Ledward
Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP.

An emotional tribute. Chadwick Boseman‘s Golden Globes 2021 speech presented by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, brought the world to tears.

“He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices. He would thank his incredible team,” Ledward said in tears as presenter Renee Zellweger looked on crying. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going.”

She continued, “I don’t have his words, but we must take those moments to celebrate those we love. So thank you HFPA for doing just that. And hun, you keep them coming.”

Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe for his role as Leevee Green in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which is based on August Wilson’s play of the same name. The film centers on Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), an influential blues singer in 1920s Chicago. The 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, which were held on Sunday, February 28, were hosted from Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton Hotel and New York City’s Rainbow Room, with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presenting from both coasts.

Boseman’s win comes months after he died at the age of 43 on August 23, 2020, after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman’s family confirmed his death at the time with a tribute on his Instagram. “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.⁣ ⁣ Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” the statement read. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”

The statement continued, “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. ⁣ ⁣ He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Boseman and Ledward, a singer, married in 2020 months before the Black Panther star’s death. The two got engaged in October 2019 and started dating around 2015. At the Gotham Awards in 2021, Ledward paid tribute to her late husband as she accepted the Actor Tribute award on her behalf.

“As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth,” she said. “He is the most honest person I’ve ever met…because he didn’t just stop at speaking the truth. He actively searched for it in himself, in those around him and in the moment.”

She continued, “The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid, but if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live in line with the divine purpose for your life..and so it became how he lived his life, day in and out. Imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives in his concentrated life. He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God’s love shine through. Thank you for giving Chad these gifts. It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of my husband. Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us.”

The 78th Golden Globes airs on Sunday, January 28, at 8 p.m. on NBC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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