Keke Palmer Opens VMAs With Emotional Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Keke Palmer at 2019 VMAs
Photo: Efren Landaos / SOPA Images/Sipa USA.

Wakanda forever. Keke Palmer paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. The former Nickelodeon star opened the 37th annual VMAs with an emotional speech dedicated to the Black Panther star two days after the world learned of his tragic death.

“Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered,” she said at the VMAs, which were held on Sunday, August 30, in New York City. “We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”

The VMAs also paid tribute to Boseman later in the awards show with a package featuring videos and photos of the actor. Boseman’s team confirmed his death on Friday, August, 28, with a post on his social media accounts. The Marvel star died at 43 years old after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

“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,” read the statement, which was accompanied by a black-and-white photo of Boseman. “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. ⁣ ⁣

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