CBS will broadcast the inaugural “Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards,” a two-hour event honoring “icons, leaders and legends” including Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, who also took the stage for a special performance with Fantasia and Yolanda Adams.
The star-studded black-tie event — a first for the African American-focused news, lifestyle, sports and entertainment platform theGrio — was co-hosted by Sheryl Underwood and Taye Diggs. Allen Media Group founder, chairman and CEO Byron Allen serves as an executive producer of the special, which will be broadcast Saturday Nov. 26 on CBS from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT, and will be available to stream live on Paramount+.
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“I created ‘theGrio Awards’ to celebrate and amplify African American excellence and the incredible champions from other communities who truly support us,” Allen stated in a release announcing the broadcast partnership. “As a child, strong, positive African American icons such as Berry Gordy, Jr., Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr. helped me see myself differently, and changed the trajectory of my life. Celebrating and amplifying iconic individuals is something we can never do enough of, especially for our children.”
Honorees include Dave Chappelle (Cultural Icon Award), Ben Crump (Justice Icon Award), Allyson Felix (Sports Icon Award), Hudson (Trailblazer Icon Award), LaBelle (Music Icon Award), Latifah (Television Icon Award), Norman Lear (Champion Award), Alena Analeigh McQuarter (Young Icon Award), Don Peebles (Business Icon Award), Tyler Perry (ICON Award), Robert F. Smith (Philanthropy Award) and Kenan Thompson (Comedy Icon Award).
Greg Phillinganes served as musical director for the special, which also featured a duet between Yolanda Adams and Tyrese, with DJ Kiss acting as both D.J. and announcer.
“Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards” is co-produced by Allen Media Group and Backhand Productions. Allen, Carolyn Folks, Jennifer Lucas, Jeff Atlas and Michelle Willrich are executive producers.