NAACP Image Awards: Daniel Kaluuya, Regina King, Mary J. Blige and More Win Acting Awards on Final Night of Virtual Ceremonies

Daniel Kaluuya Regina Hall Mary J Blige
AP/Koury Angelo for Variety

Daniel Kaluuya, Regina King, Mary J. Blige and more took home acting awards during the final night of the non-televised NAACP Image Awards.

Kaluuya won outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture for his role as Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” whereas King took home the actress award in the same category for playing Trudy Smith in “The Harder They Fall.” Blige, hot off her halftime show performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, won for supporting actress in a drama series for her role in “Power Book II: Ghost.”

Ava DuVernay’s “Colin in Black & White” was awarded outstanding television movie, limited series or dramatic special, while “Queen Sugar” won for drama series. On the film side, “CODA” took home the award for independent motion picture, “Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” won for best documentary and “Encanto” was honored with the award for animated motion picture.

Other winners on Friday night included Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Courtney B. Vance, Regina Hall, Miles Brown, Deon Cole, Natasha Rothwell, Cliff “Method Man” Smith and Angel Kristi Williams.

The Image Awards’ non-televised kudos are being handed out during five virtual ceremonies stretched across the week starting Feb. 21, leading up to the live telecast, when the top categories, including entertainer of the year, will be awarded Feb. 26 on BET. The Monday-Friday virtual ceremonies are live-streamed via the Image Awards’ YouTube channel and NAACPImageAwards.net.

Here is a complete list of winners for the 53rd NAACP Image Awards (updated throughout the week):

Friday, Feb. 25

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

“Colin in Black & White”

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

Kevin Hart- “True Story”

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

Taraji P. Henson- “Annie Live!”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

Courtney B. Vance- “Genius: Aretha”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

Regina Hall – “Nine Perfect Strangers”

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series)

Miles Brown- “Black-ish”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Deon Cole- “Black-ish”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Natasha Rothwell- “Insecure”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Cliff “Method Man” Smith- “Power Book II: Ghost”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Mary J. Blige- “Power Book II: Ghost”

Outstanding Drama Series

“Queen Sugar”

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television)

Angel Kristi Williams- “Colin in Black & White”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Daniel Kaluuya- “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Regina King- “The Harder They Fall”

Outstanding Documentary (Film)

“Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power”

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture


Outstanding Animated Motion Picture



Thursday, Feb. 24:

Jazmine Sullivan captured an armful of trophies on Thursday for the fourth night of the NAACP Image Awards’ virtual ceremonies, leading the music winners with three trophies.

Sullivan was named outstanding female artist for her hit record “Heaux Tales,” which also won for outstanding album. Her track “Pick Up Your Feelings” won the outstanding soul/R&B song prize. The Philadelphia native released the deluxe edition of the project, “Heaux Tales, Mo’ Tales: The Deluxe,” earlier this month.

News of the wins served as a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing day for the singer, who announced she has to cancel some upcoming shows after testing positive for COVID-19. In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, Sullivan thanked her fans for their understanding and support.

The outstanding male artist prize went to Anthony Hamilton for “Love Is the New Black,” with Saweetie christened outstanding new artist and saluted for her hit “Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat.

Sullivan wasn’t the only musician to take home multiple trophies. Tamela Mann swept the night’s gospel categories with wins for outstanding gospel/Christian song (“Help Me,” Mann feat. The Fellas) and album (“Overcomer”).

Nigerian singer/songwriter WizKid’s track “Essence,” featuring Tems, won for outstanding music video/visual album, with the Justin Bieber-assisted remix nabbing the international song award.

Houston rapper and singer Tobe Nwigwe’s “Fye Fye” featuring Fat Nwigwe earned hip-hop/rap song and duo, group or collaboration (contemporary) honors.

Other prizes went to Jay-Z and Jeymes Samuel’s soundtrack for “The Harder They Fall,” Silk Sonic won the duo, group or collaboration (traditional) award for their smash hit “Leave the Door Open”) and jazz artists Kenny Garrett and The Baylor Project nabbed individual prizes, as well.

Darnella Frazier, who captured the murder of George Floyd, a recording which catapulted the world into action against racial injustice, was honored with the Humanitarian’s Award. The honor was presented by NAACP Vice-Chair Karen Boykin-Towns who saluted Frazier for her courage in recording “the face of racist depravity that we still must expose.”

Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental
“Sounds from the Ancestors” – Kenny Garrett

Outstanding Jazz Album – Vocal
“Generations”- The Baylor Project

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song
“Help Me”- Tamala Mann feat. The Fellas

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album
“Overcomer”- Tamela Mann

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional)
Silk Sonic- “Leave the Door Open”

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary)
Tobe Nwigwe Feat. Fat Nwigwe- “Fye Fye”

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album
“The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – JAY-Z & Jeymes Samuel

Outstanding International Song
“Essence”- Wizkid featuring Tems & Justin Bieber

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album
“Essence”- Wizkid featuring Tems

Outstanding New Artist
Saweetie – “Best Friend” Ft. Doja Cat

Outstanding Male Artist
Anthony Hamilton – “Love Is The New Black”

Outstanding Female Artist
Jazmine Sullivan- “Heaux Tales”

Outstanding Soul/R&B Song
“Pick Up Your Feelings”- Jazmine Sullivan

Outstanding Hip-Hop/Rap Song
“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe Feat. Fat Nwigwe

Outstanding Album
“Heaux Tales”- Jazmine Sullivan

Special Award: NAACP Humanitarian of the Year
Darnella Frazier


Wednesday, Feb. 23:

Maya Rudolph also nabbed her first Image Award after three previous nominations. The comedian was recognized in the outstanding guest performance category for “Saturday Night Live.”

Winning at the Image Awards is practically old hat for Noah, who captured a repeat win in the outstanding host in the reality/reality competition, game show or variety series or special category. The “Daily Show” also topped the outstanding variety or game show category, with Joy Reid’s “The Reid Out” named outstanding news/information series and “Wild ’n Out” the top reality/reality competition series.

“Red Table Talk” won its second consecutive Image Award for outstanding talk series, with an additional prize going to its trio of hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith, in their first win.

Jeymes Samuels’ “The Harder They Fall” picked up two awards — one for outstanding breakthrough creative (motion picture) for Samuel and the second for outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture. The Netflix western, which dominated the film categories with a total of 12 Image Award nods, stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi and Deon Cole.

Outstanding Talk Series
“Red Table Talk”

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Willow Smith- “Red Table Talk”

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series
“Wild ‘n Out”

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Trevor Noah- “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”

Outstanding Variety or Game Show (Series or Special)
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)
“The Reidout”

Outstanding Documentary (Television)
“High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America”

Outstanding Children’s Program
“Family Reunion”

Outstanding Animated Series
“We The People”

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television)
Cree Summer – “Rugrats”

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Motion Picture)
Letitia Wright – “Sing 2”

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
Danny Boyd Jr. – “Bruised”

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
Jeymes Samuel – “The Harder They Fall”

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
“The Harder They Fall”

Outstanding International Motion Picture
“7 Prisoners”

Outstanding Guest Performance
Maya Rudolph- “Saturday Night Live”

Special Award: Roy Wilkins Civil Rights Award
Members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Texas House Democratic Caucus


Tuesday, Feb. 22:

“Insecure” creator and star Issa Rae, “The Underground Railroad” visionary Barry Jenkins and “Judas and the Black Messiah” filmmaker Shaka King were among the writing and directing winners awarded Tuesday as part of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards.

Rae was heralded with the outstanding writing in a comedy series prize for penning the series finale of “Insecure,” which led the class of NAACP Image Award nominees with 12 nods. She is also nominated for the best actress prize, which will be presented at a later date.

“The Good Fight’s Davita Scarlett earned the writing award for drama series, while Abdul Williams won in the television movie or special category for the “Salt-N-Pepa” screenplay.

King nabbed two prizes, winning for outstanding directing in a motion picture and sharing the honor for outstanding writing with his co-scribes Will Benson and the Lucas Brothers.

Jenkins was also honored in the directing categories, taking home the drama series prize for “The Underground Railroad,” while “South Side” directors Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle nabbed the comedy series directing prize. “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” director Kenny Leon earned the award in the television movie or special category, with the documentary award doing to Samantha Knowles, Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir and Nadia Hallgren for “Black and Missing.”

Outstanding Short-Form Series – Comedy or Drama
“Between the Scenes” – The Daily Show

Outstanding Short-Form Series or Special –Reality/Nonfiction
“Token of a Great Day” – Lynching Postcards

Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action)
“When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon’ Ilanga)”

Outstanding Short-Form (Animated)
“Us Again”

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae- “Insecure” – Episode #510 “Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!”

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Davita Scarlett- “The Good Fight” – 505

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special
Abdul Williams- “Salt-N-Pepa”

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
Shaka King, Will Berson, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas- “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle – “South Side” – “Tornado” (208)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
Barry Jenkins- “The Underground Railroad”

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special
Kenny Leon- “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia”

Outstanding Directing in a Documentary
Samantha Knowles, Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Nadia Hallgren- “Black and Missing”- Ep 103

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
Shaka King- “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Special Award: NAACP Activist of the Year
Scot X. Esdaile.


Monday, Feb. 21:

Journalist Jemele Hill, civil rights activist Stacey Abrams, superstar Will Smith and the legendary Cicely Tyson were among the winners of podcast and literary kudos presented Monday as part of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards.

Hill, the ESPN alumnus who writes for the Atlantic and has a growing podcast following, took home two trophies for her podcast “Jemele Hill is Unbothered,” in the categories of arts and entertainment and society and culture.

Abrams, the Georgia-based voting rights advocate, got the nod for children’s lit for the book she co-wrote with Kitt Thomas, “Stacey’s Extraordinary Words.”

Smith, now in the Oscar hunt again for his work in the biopic “King Richard,” was recognized with the literary biography laurel for telling his own story in “Will,” published late last year.

The pioneering Tyson added another accolade to her distinguished legacy, winning the literary award for debut author for her autobiography “Just As I Am,” which was published two days before her death at age 96 in January 2021.

Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley took the lifestyle podcast honors for their work on “Two Funny Mamas.”

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“Long Division” – Kiese Laymon

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” – Nikole Hannah-Jones

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography
“Will”- Will Smith

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business)” – Tabitha Brown

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Perfect Black”- Crystal Wilkinson

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“Stacey’s Extraordinary Words” – Stacey Abrams, Kitt Thomas

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Ace of Spades”- Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Outstanding Podcast – News and Information
“Blindspot: Tulsa Burning”

Outstanding Podcast – Arts and Entertainment
“Jemele Hill is Unbothered”

Outstanding Podcast – Society and Culture
“Jemele Hill is Unbothered”

Outstanding Podcast – Lifestyle/Self-Help
“Two Funny Mamas” – Sherri Shepherd & Kym Whitley