Ahead of the 2020 MTV VMAs, show host Keke Palmer appeared in a hastily pre-recorded message to address what she called the “devastating” loss of actor Chadwick Boseman on Friday, August 28. The clip was apparently shot without the benefit of professional equipment; Palmer used the opportunity to dedicate the show to Boseman’s memory. The VMAs official Twitter account echoed the sentiment, posting “RIP Chadwick Boseman. Tonight’s #VMAs is dedicated to him.”
Keke Palmer honors Chadwick Boseman at the #VMAs “We dedicate tonight’s show to the man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero, not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.” pic.twitter.com/Gs3IZYXa2c
— Alyssa Bailey (@alyssabailey) August 31, 2020
The world needs more superheroes, and we all deserve to see ourselves in them. Chadwick Boseman helped make that happen. Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/d05kkkQR6b
— MTV (@MTV) August 31, 2020
RIP Chadwick Boseman.
Tonight's #VMAs is dedicated to him.
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 31, 2020
Boseman passed away at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, drawing a wave of of responses from across the movie, music, and sports worlds. Boseman, who portrayed the Marvel Comics superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, received tributes during the NBA Playoffs as his co-stars and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler mourned him, marking his importance across the spectrum of pop culture, but especially for Black Americans who saw themselves in his portrayal of the Black superhero who broke box office records left and right and gave the world the iconic phrase “Wakanda forever.”
Boseman was praised for filming no less than six movies while fighting the cancer: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, and of course, Black Panther.
Watch the VMAs’ tribute to Chadwick Boseman above.