NAACP Image Award Winners List: Victoria Monét, Chris Brown and ‘The Color Purple’ Nab Early Wins at Virtual Ceremony

The 55th annual NAACP Image Awards got underway on Monday with Victoria Monét and Chris Brown leading the list of early winners.

The three-day virtual Image Awards show is hosted by Khloe Thomas. Night 1 featured presenters Bellah (Hulu’s “Queenie”), Da’Vinchi (Starz’s “BMF”), Danielle Jalade (Disney’s “Saturdays”), Gabrielle Nevaeh (Nickelodeon’s “That Girl Lay Lay”) and Vanessa Simmons (BET+ “Deadly Entanglement”) revealing winners in the recording and literary categories.

Monét had received the most nominations in the recording categories with six nominations, followed closely by Usher who earned five nods, including entertainer of the year. During the virtual ceremony, the “Jaguar II” hitmaker won outstanding new artist and outstanding album — marking her first two NAACP Image Award wins and adding to a trophy case which already boasts three Grammys. Usher won for outstanding male artist, while the female artist prize went to H.E.R. Brown’s wins came from his collaborations with Ciara (“How We Roll”) and Davido & Lojay (“Sensational”).

“The Color Purple,” which dominated the overall nominations with 16, landed its first win, picking up the prize for outstanding soundtrack or compilation album. The musical movie from director Blitz Bazawule reimagines Alice Walker’s classic novel and expands on Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film, as well as the Tony-winning Broadway musical. “The Color Purple” soundtrack includes performances from an all-star cast, including Fantasia, Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, H.E.R., Corey Hawkins, Colman Domingo and Danielle Brooks, who was nominated for an Academy Award on Sunday.

The Image Awards will broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles this Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and CBS. Queen Latifah will return to host after emceeing the ceremony for the first time last year. During the broadcast, the NAACP will honor writer, poet and activist Amanda Gorman with the prestigious Chairman’s Award, while Grammy-nominated R&B group New Edition will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Special honors will also go to trailblazing R&B singer-songwriter Frankie Beverly, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NAACP Image Awards dinner on Thursday, March 14, hosted by Sherri Shepherd. Costume designer, designer and tastemaker June Ambrose will receive this year’s Vanguard Award in salute to her decades as a pioneer in the fashion industry. That award will be presented during the Image Awards fashion show, hosted by Brandee Evans, on Friday, March 15.

The full list of winners from Night 1 of the virtual Image Awards can be found below:

Outstanding International Song
“Me & U” – Tems

Outstanding Jazz Album
“Brand New Life” – Brandee Younger

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song
“All Yours” – Kierra Sheard feat. Anthony Brown

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album
“Father’s Day” – Kirk Franklin

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional)
“How We Roll” – Ciara feat. Chris Brown

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary)
“Sensational” – Chris Brown feat. Davido & Lojay

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album
“The Color Purple – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” – Various Producers

Outstanding Original Score for TV/Film
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” – Jongnic Bontemps

Outstanding Male Artist
“Good Good” – Usher with 21 Savage x Summer Walker

Outstanding Female Artist
“The Journey” – H.E.R.

Outstanding New Artist
“Jaguar II” – Victoria Monét

Outstanding Hip Hop/Rap Song
“Cobra” – Megan Thee Stallion

Outstanding Album
“Jaguar II” – Victoria Monét

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“Family Lore” – Elizabeth Acevedo

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
“The New Brownies’ Book” – Karida L. Brown and Charly Palmer

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“Rootless” – Krystle Zara Appiah

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Autobiography
“Our Secret Society: Mollie Moon and the Glamour, Money, and Power Behind the Civil Rights Movement” – Dr. Tanisha C. Ford

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Historically Black Phrases: From ‘I Ain’t One of Your Lil’ Friends’ to ‘Who All Gon’ Be There?’” – Jarrett Hill and Tre’vell Anderson

Outstanding Literary Work – Graphic Novel
“The Talk” – Darrin Bell

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Suddenly We” – Evie Shockley

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“CROWNED: Magical Folk and Fairy Tales from the Diaspora” – Kahran Bethencourt

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Everyone’s Thinking It” – Aleema Omotoni

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