Actor Chadwick Boseman, star of Marvel Studios’ groundbreaking film Black Panther, has passed away at the age of 43.
“We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman—an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met,” said Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company. “He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes, becoming a long-awaited hero to millions around the world, and inspiring us all to dream bigger and demand more than the status quo. We mourn all that he was, as well as everything he was destined to become. For his friends and millions of fans, his absence from the screen is only eclipsed by his absence from our lives. All of us at Disney send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family.”
Boseman—who was also known to moviegoers for his acclaimed performances as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), as James Brown in Get On Up (2014), and as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017)—first appeared on screen in what would become his most iconic role in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War. The highly anticipated Black Panther was released in 2018 and the film—and the nation of Wakanda in which the movie is set—quickly became a global cultural phenomenon, inspiring millions of fans around the globe. Boseman’s character was no ordinary Super Hero. He said, “T’Challa is smart. He’s a strategist and that has always been something that stood out to me, even in the comic books… He’s a world leader and with that comes the responsibility for an entire nation and considering its place in the world. That’s something that other Super Heroes don’t commonly have, but he must also uphold his legacy. It’s an interesting combination.”
In a statement, Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer, Marvel, said, “Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Boseman returned to the role of Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Chris Evans, who starred alongside Boseman in both films as Captain America, was among Boseman’s many co-stars who expressed their sadness over his passing tonight. “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original,” Evans said. “He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. Few performers have such power and versatility. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power, King.”
Angela Bassett played T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, in Black Panther, and she reflected on her strong connection to Boseman, which preceded the 2018 film. Bassett shared on Instagram tonight, “It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother… ‘thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…’ All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever”
Brie Larson, Boseman’s Avengers: Endgame co-star and star of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, shared, “Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.”
Boseman’s family confirmed the news of his passing tonight, expressing their “immeasurable grief” and noting, “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Black Music Honors Dru Hill, Tevin Campbell, Mary Mary and The Whisphers
Celebrating Legendary Artists and Institutions Making a Significant Impact in African-American Music, Black Music Honors Returns to Atlanta With Co-Hosts Two-Time Grammy Winner LeToya Luckett and Comedian DeRay Davis
Central City Productions announces the 7th Annual Black Music Honors live tapping at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Ga. on Thursday, May 19. The star-studded two-hour event will honor artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music.
This year’s remarkable group of honorees include Multi-Platinum, Award-Winning Supergroup Dru Hill who will receive the Urban Music Icon Award; Five-Time GRAMMY Nominee Tevin Campbell who will be honored with the R&B Icon Award and Multi-Award-Winning Gospel Duo Mary Mary will be presented with the Gospel Icon Award. NAACP Image Award-Winning Singer Karyn White will also be recognized with the Soul Music Award; Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Keri Hilson will be honored with the Music and Songwriter Icon Award for her accomplishments penning songs for some of the biggest names in music; and the Legendary R&B Group The Whispers will take home the Legends Award for their incredible nearly six decade music career.
“We are more than excited to return to in-person taping for the first time in nearly three years with a live studio audience,” says Founder and Executive Producer, Don Jackson. “The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the music industry and we’re honored to celebrate, commemorate and honor music trailblazers who have paved the way for the next generation of music and culture.”
Multi-hyphenate LeToya Luckett will co-host the epic night of celebration along with Chicago Actor and Comedian DeRay Davis. The televised special is set to air in national broadcast syndication Saturday, June 4 – Sunday, July 3 and on Bounce TV on Saturday, June 25. The 7th Annual Black Music Honors show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Producer and Michael A. Johnson as Producer and Director.
ABOUT BLACK MUSIC HONORS
Black Music Honors is an annual two-hour event that acknowledges the legendary African-American artists who have influenced and made significant musical contributions to African-American culture and American music worldwide. Black Music Honors is produced by Chicago-based production company Central City Productions (CCP).
For more information, visit www.blackmusichonors.com and connect on social media @blackmusichonors on Facebook and Instagram or @blackmusichonor on Twitter.
Patreon announces Pull Up
PATREON ANNOUNCES PULL UP, AN INCUBATOR AND COMMUNITY FOR CREATORS OF COLOR, WITH CREATIVE PARTNERS ISSA RAE’S HOORAE MEDIA, BLAIR IMANI, AMANDA SEALES’ SMART FUNNY & BLACK, DURAND BERNARR, AND MORE
Patreon, a membership platform for creators and their most passionate fans, announced Pull Up, an incubator and creative community to give creators of color access to capital and other resources to grow their businesses. Pull Up, powered by Patreon, is supported by and developed with some of the biggest creators of color driving culture today – including Issa Rae’s HOORAE, Blair Imani, Amanda Seales’ Smart Funny & Black, Durand Bernarr, Jade Novah, Nicole Cardoza, Tim Chantarungsu, and Tina Yu, among others.
While the creator economy is growing at an exciting pace, a 2021 study found that BIPOC creators are paid almost a third less (29%) than their white peers. To help bridge this gap, and working with creators of color, Patreon launched Pull Up, a generative ecosystem where creators of color can learn from and grow with industry leaders, and each other, to “pull up” the next generation of creatives.
“We are excited to be a part of Pull Up, powered by Patreon’s Creator Success team, who continue to be a champion for HOORAE on and off the platform,” said Issa Rae, creative partner for Pull Up powered by Patreon. “We share a core set of values in empowering creators of color with access and resources, so I’m thrilled my team and I get to be on this journey with the other creators in the initiative.”
Starting today, creators can visit pullup.patreon.com to learn more about the community and incubator and sign up to participate. Any creator can join the Pull Up Community and gain access to the Pull Up Salon Series, which is a series of community events, panels, and workshops featuring industry-leading creators of color who share how to hone your creative, entrepreneurial, and community-building skills as you grow a creative business of your own. They will also be invited to join the Pull Up community on a dedicated Discord server to connect and learn from their peers. Select Patreon creators will get the opportunity to apply to the incubator for funding.
On Wednesday, April 27, Patreon will host Pull Up Late Night, a worldwide livestream for creators, by creators. The special launch event will feature D Smoke, Nicole Cardoza, and RT TV who will introduce the program, share their creative journeys and discuss what Pull Up means to them. The event starts at 5 pm PT/8pm ET and creators can register for the event at events.patreon.com/pulluplatenight
“As a musician and creator of color, I know firsthand the challenges that many face when hustling to grow, perfect their craft and scale their businesses to be profitable,” said Hewan Abebe, Head of Creator Initiatives for the Patreon Creator Success team. “It’s these experiences that propelled me to develop Pull Up, and it is my hope that the program serves as a conduit for creators of color to retain ownership of their work, inspire community, and foster change to help generations coming up.”
For more information on Pull Up, powered by Patreon, and the upcoming public livestream event on April 27, please visit events.patreon.com/PullUpLateNight.
Mary J. Blige to Receive Prestigious Icon Award
MARY J. BLIGE TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS ICON AWARD AT THE “2022 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS”
MRC and NBC today announced that global superstar Mary J. Blige will receive the distinguished Billboard Icon Award at the “2022 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs). As a part of the recognition, the ten-time BBMA winner will take the stage for a breathtaking performance that will make for one of the most memorable moments of the evening. The BBMAs will broadcast live coast-to-coast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC and will stream live on Peacock.
Blige joins just ten other artists to ever receive the prestigious Billboard Icon Award, which recognizes outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard Charts and have made an indelible
mark on music itself. Since the award’s inauguration in 2011, past recipients include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, and P!NK.
“My career has been such an incredible and unexpected journey that has included many turns into avenues I never could have imagined like acting, producing, launching businesses and now even my own music festival,” said Blige. “Through it all, I always one way or another gravitated back to my first love, music. To be recognized in this way at this moment, with the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards, is an incredible honor and one that I am truly humbled by.”
Mary J. Blige truly defines what it means to be an icon with ten BBMA wins total, nine of which were won when she dominated the 2006 award show. Awards won include R&B Album of the Year (1995); Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); Hot 100 Airplay Song of the Year (2006); R&B Albums Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song Airplay of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Artist of the Year (2006); Videoclip of the Year (2006).
For more than 30 years, the BBMAs have celebrated music’s greatest achievements, honoring the hottest names in music today. Unique among music awards shows, finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts. Since 1940, the Billboard Charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs, and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.
The “2022 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by MRC Live & Alternative. Robert Deaton is the executive producer. More information about the “2022 Billboard Music Awards,” including additional performers, host, presenters and more will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets to attend the show are open to the public. Prices per ticket start at $90 USD and are available for purchase HERE. Doors open at 6:30 P.M. ET / 3:30 P.M. PT.
For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube) and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.
ABOUT MRC LIVE & ALTERNATIVE
MRC Live & Alternative, a division of global entertainment company MRC, is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and the “Streamy Awards.” MRC Live & Alternative owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For more information please visit: www.mrcentertainment.com.