Grammy winner H.E.R. graced the Emmys on Sunday with a touching In Memoriam tribute to the writers, actors, directors, producers and broadcasters we’ve lost in 2020 thus far.
Rocking a gorgeous fuchsia Vera Wang dress with orange ribbing, H.E.R. delivered a moving rendition of Prince’s 2013 hit, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” with the backdrop of a slideshow featuring a bevy of deceased stars, including Diahann Carroll, Ja’Net DuBois, Naya Rivera and John Witherspoon, and screenwriter Jas Waters. During the powerful set, the 23-year-old songstress and musician played the piano before ending on guitar.
The Emmys reserved the final visual for our forever king T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, which made H.E.R.’s salute even more heartbreaking. The tribute closed with the beloved video clip of Boseman delivering the 2018 commencement address at his Howard University alma mater.
In what is now being widely hailed as one of the best college graduation speeches of all time, the actor told his fellow Bison that “purpose crosses disciplines.”
“Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history,” he said with a smile. “Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”
He ended his speech by saying: “I don’t know what your future is, but if you are willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory, then you will not regret it.”
The Black Panther actor passed away on August 28 after succumbing to a four-year battle with colon cancer.