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New Edition to Be Inducted Into NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame; Frankie Beverly to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Grammy-nominated R&B group New Edition will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame on March 16 when the awards return for its 55th installment — with Queen Latifah set to host.

Recognized as one of the most distinguished multicultural award shows, the ceremony aims to “uplift values” that inspire equality, justice and progressive change while highlighting artists “committed” to those values, says the NAACP.

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Previous inductees include Eddie Murphy, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Carlos Santana, Little Richard, Sidney Poitier, Earth Wind and Fire and Aretha Franklin.

Moreover, trailblazing R&B singer-songwriter Frankie Beverly is to be feted with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NAACP Image Awards dinner on March 14. The award is presented to individuals who have “made significant contributions to civil and human rights in addition to their contributions in the entertainment industry.”

“It is our distinct honor to celebrate New Edition and Frankie Beverly — two musical icons that have been instrumental in shaping our cultural landscape with their remarkable talent and enduring influence,” Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO, said in a statement. “We recognize the power of their artistry in showcasing the enduring power of Black excellence in the arts.”

One of the most successful male singing groups, New Edition has entertained audiences for more than 40 years. The group has sold a cumulative 30 million records worldwide and helped launch the individual and soloist careers of many of its members, including Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and Bell-Biv-DeVoe. In 2017, they executive produced “The New Edition Story,” a 3-night miniseries which was a massive hit for BET, bringing in a record 29 million viewers. After embarking on their top-rated “Culture Tour” in 2022, the group is currently in the midst of a residency at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Beverly’s distinctive voice and timeless compositions have garnered widespread acclaim from his early days with Maze to his solo endeavors. His biggest hits include “Golden Time of Day,” “Joy and Pain” and the unofficial theme song for the summer that remains synonymous with Black culture, “Before I Let Go.”

“New Edition and Frankie Beverly’s influence has laid the foundation for modern R&B, shaping the genre’s sonic landscape and resonance in numerous ways,” said Connie Orlando, EVP specials, music programming and music strategy at BET. “From the acclaimed ‘The New Edition Story’ on BET to our commemoration of Frankie Beverly at the 2012 BET Awards, we are thrilled to celebrate these musical luminaries, whose melodies are intricately woven into the very fabric of our culture.”

The 55th NAACP Image Awards will air on March 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on BET and CBS.

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