By Austyn Ross
NAACP

Earlier this month, the NAACP announced that global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, will receive the prestigious President’s Award during the 51st NAACP Image Awards. The President’s Award is presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Previous recipients include Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Jesse Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Soledad O’Brien, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Muhammad Ali among others. NAACP President Derrick Johnson will present the award to Rihanna on BET on Feb. 22. Five-time Image Award Recipient Anthony Anderson will return as the host for the Live TV Special.

“Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician, but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant,” said Johnson. “From her business achievements through Fenty to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President’s Award.”

Rihanna will receive the prestigious President’s Award; U.S.Rep. and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), will receive the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award during the 51st NAACP Image Awards. (Photo courtesy Black Press USA)

The NAACP also announced that U.S. Rep. and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), will receive the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award during the 51st NAACP Image Awards. The Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Past honorees of the Chairman’s Award include Tyler Perry, Barack Obama, Former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Ruby Dee, The Neville Brothers, Bono, Danny Glover, and Rep. Maxine Waters.

The nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards were announced last month at a joint press conference with Derrick Johnson and Connie Orlando, BET executive vice-president, specials, music programming & music strategy.

Netflix leads the television category nominations with 30, with an additional 12 nominations in the motion picture categories for a total of 42. RCA Records leads in the music recording categories with 14, followed by Columbia Records and BMG respectively with seven. Universal Pictures leads the motion picture categories with 15 nominations, Penguin Random House has eight nominations followed by HarperCollins with four in the literary categories.

“Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities,” said Johnson. “This year’s nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we’re proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances.”

For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at https://www.naacpimageawards.net/ or on Facebook at naacpimageawards and Twitter @naacpimageaward (#NAACPImageAwards).