As we step into award season, due to the current pandemic crisis, ceremony’s are looking a bit different this go round. Eliminating large crowds and beloved red carpets, while the virtual award show cycle may be altered, this new normal ensures safety for everyone. “There’s are a lot of rules and regulations that you have to follow,” Taraji P. Henson tells ESSENCE. “That’s fine for me because it makes me feel safe.”
The award-winning actor and producer will host the American Music Awards this Sunday, November 22nd. Henson tell us she’s tapping into her theatre background for her AMA hosting debut. “This is right up my ally. I produced my own Christmas show on Fox for three years and I love theatre,” she says. “I love the stage and any chance I get to showcase many of my talents.”
There’s nothing that the actress can’t do. Known for her good-time spirit on and off the camera, there’s no better host than the Empire star. Taraji is no stranger to hosting award shows, previously she was the emcee for the BET Soul Train Awards in 2009 and 2010, and hosted the Black Girls Rock! awards in 2017. “When you’re an artist, by any means necessary,” she said.
It wouldn’t be a Taraji P. Henson moment without stunning glam, and in AMA tradition there will be a large number of outfit changes. “I love to play dress up and I have a bomb ass crew and glam squad,” the Maryland native exclaimed. She’s notoriously teamed up with celebrity stylist and Netflix star Jason Bolden as well as makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. Together, the trio have created some of her most iconic looks. “Its an award show so it’s about costumes. That’s what I’m looking forward to, the things that I couldn’t wear everyday. ” she says.
Of course, the host is paying homage to her Empire character Cookie, which she says is the most requested look from her fans. “The world wants a Cookie moment so it’s going to be some leopard in there,” laughs Henson when asked what we can expect from wardrobe. “Jason is amazing, the clothes are going to be fabulous and I’m going to show you 900 ways to rock red hair.”
Check out some of our favorite glam moments from Taraji P. Henson below. The American Music Awards airs this Sunday at 8:00 PM ET/PT, on ABC.