The 2020 Video Music Awards aired just two days after it was announced that Chadwick Boseman passed away, after battling colon cancer for two days. VMAs host Keke Palmer opened the MTV awards show with a special message announcing that this year’s awards show will be dedicated to Chadwick.
“We have to take a moment to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered,” Keke said in an emotional tribute. “We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero, not just onscreen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”
His representatives confirmed the news of his death on August 28 with a statement, saying he spent the last four years working as an actor in a variety of films while simultaneously battling the illness with surgeries and chemotherapy.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” the statement read. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.”
The statement continued, “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”