TheGrio Hosted Inaugural Awards Gala to ‘Amplify’ Black Excellence


Black Excellence was on full display at theGrio’s first-ever awards ceremony and gala.

Held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Saturday, hosts Sheryl Underwood and Taye Diggs, along with Allen Media Group’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Byron Allen, came together to set the stage for a new award show aimed at spreading and celebrating Black empowerment.

“I created theGrio Awards to celebrate and amplify African-American excellence and the incredible champions from other communities who truly support us,” Allen said in a statement.

“Celebrating and amplifying iconic individuals is something we can never do enough of, especially for our children.”

Attendees included Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, Allyson Felix, Ben Crump, Don Peebles, and Robert F. Smith. Inspirational figures across film, politics, and journalism graced the red carpet including Nikole Hannah-Jones, Terrance Howard, Jackée Harry, Marla Gibbs, Kim Coles, and Congressman Bobby Rush.

April Ryan, Natasha Alford, Panama Jackson, and Michael Harriot were also in attendance along with actor Taye Diggs and his girlfriend Apryl Jones. Patti LaBelle blessed attendees with a live performance along with Yolanda Adams, Tyrese, and Fantasia. Music veteran, Greg Phillinganes, served as the evening’s musical director, alongside DJ Kiss who worked double time as the D.J. and announcer.

Mini-reunions took place when Marla Gibbs and Jackée Harry crossed paths, much to the delight of 227 fans. Queen Latifah and Kim Coles shared a Living Single moment when fans noticed them both on the red carpet.

Awards were given to Patti LaBelle who received the Music Icon Award, Jennifer Hudson took home the Trailblazer Icon Award, Queen Latifah was awarded with the Television Icon Award, and Felix was crowned the Sports Icon Award.

Other honorees included Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle, and Kenan Thompson, Daily Mail reported.

Those who missed the live event can catch theGrio Awards on theGrio Television Network and other Allen Media Group television and digital platforms. The event will also appear on broadcast television stations nationwide in the near future.

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