Keke Palmer opened the MTV VMAs 2020 by paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday (August 28).
A tweet on the Black Panther star’s Twitter account confirmed that the acclaimed actor had died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Before the pre-recorded main ceremony began, a video message from host Palmer was played, dedicating the show to Boseman.
“Before we get into the music tonight, we need to take the time 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.
— Glizzy Goddess (@AhFudgeCake) August 31, 2020
“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.”
During an advertising break, a tribute video package to the star was also shown, featuring Boseman’s speech from the MTV Movie Awards 2018.
— challengemtv (@ChallengeMTV) August 31, 2020
The actor is best known for his lead role as T’Challa in Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, starring opposite Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and others. He also played James Brown in 2014 biopic Get On Up, and Jackie Robinson in 2013 film 42. He recently appeared in Spike Lee’s latest film Da 5 Bloods.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler paid tribute to the actor, calling him an “anomaly”. “He was calm. Assured. Constantly studying,” he wrote. “The ancestors spoke through him. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
James Brown’s family have also honoured Boseman, saying he had “delivered an Oscar-worthy” portrayal of the musical icon “because he is so talented”.