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*Nearly two million viewers tuned in to the NAACP Image Awards, marking a 448 percent ratings increase from a year ago. 

Finding a new home at BET seems to have paid off, as 1.8 million total viewers watched the telecast on BET and other ViacomCBS networks. 

The NAACP and BET Networks announced their broadcast partnership last November. 

“We’re proud to partner with BET Networks to showcase the incredible breadth of Black excellence in television, film, music, and literature, and to bring awareness to the social justice and economic empowerment work of the NAACP,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson at the time. “Through its diverse platforms, BET delivers culturally enriching and entertaining content to a wide and multigenerational audience. As we head into a critical 2020 election and Census, the collaboration with BET will be critical to reaching our shared communities.”

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The NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards winners during a special ceremony which was broadcasted live on BET from the Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium.

Winners of the night included Lizzo (Entertainer of the Year), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Jamie Foxx (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Just Mercy”), Lupita Nyong’o (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Us”), Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – “Little”), Tracee Ellis Ross (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”) and “Just Mercy” (Outstanding Motion Picture).

During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, with the President’s Award which is presented in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.

Beyonce’s “Homecoming: The Live Album” was named outstanding album, and rapper Lil Nas X took home the trophy for best new artist. 

Per Urban Hollywood 411:

On BET alone, the show was watched by 850,000 viewers, up 149 percent from last year’s telecast.

The February 22 broadcast was also the #1 most talked about TV program on social media, with the tweet volume peaking at 9:52 p.m. ET, when Rihanna received the President’s Award. To date there have been more than 14 million total social mentions.

For the seventh consecutive year, “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson hosted the telecast from Pasadena, Calif.

The NAACP Image Awards honor people of color in television, music, literature, and film, and also individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), was recognized with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the ceremony and sent in a special video accepting the award.

Additional guests in attendance included Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey, Deon Cole, Elaine Welteroth, Harold Perrineau, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Logan Browning, Lukka Sabbatt, Lynn Whitfield, Octavia Spencer, Robin Thede, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Tiffany Haddish, Winston Dukes, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown.

Click here for full list of winners. 

Day One rehearsal. All photos by Toyia Brown.
Reggie conferring with writer Chris Spenser and host Anthony Anderson.
Host Anthony Anderson rehearses. 
Producers Phil Gurin, Reggie Hudlin and Byron Phillips with BET execs Connie Orlando and Jamal Noisette. 
Backstage during the show, producers Reggie Hudlin and Byron Phillips sit while the watch Jill Scott perform.  Host Anthony Anderson looks over their shoulder, as does BET exec Jamal Noisette.