ESSENCE Year in Review: 100 Photos We Loved in 2014

Every year is filled with indelible images — and 2014 was no different, with so many moments captured on camera that help us reflect on the past 12 months of Black life and culture. As we gear up to say goodbye to 2014, takes a look back at the year in pictures.

ESSENCE.COM Oct, 24, 2013

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Lupita Nyong'o and actor Sidney Poitier share a special moment at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter in West Hollywood, California.

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Who could forget this magic moment? Like a princess, Lupita Nyong'o donned a Nairobi blue Prada gown for her final red carpet look at the Oscars. A winning look for the winning actress.

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Michael B. Jordan gave the ladies something to smile about while enjoying some rest and relaxation on Miami Beach. Fans can expect to see much more of the heartthrob as he keeps it hot and gears up to star in 'The Fantastic Four' as "The Human Torch."

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Newlyweds Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha made a stylish appearance at the 66th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards.

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Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz had some fun in the sun at Nikki Beach in St. Barts. The adorable couple is preparing for a very happy new year as their second bundle of joy is due at the end of December. 

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Things got a little rocky for Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey this year as seperation and divorce rumors swirled. After confirming the separation, Cannon revealed his Mariah tattoo cover up job at a gym following a workout in Studio City.

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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade share a laugh during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

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A student shows President Barack Obama how he is working to create an ebook as he visits a classroom at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland.

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It was hard to miss Hollywood "It" girl Lupita Nyong'o this year. Here she arrives at the 19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

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Fashion darling Rihanna arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Lucian Grainge at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

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ESSENCE September cover girl Jill Scott not only rocked the stage at the 20th annual ESSENCE Festival but also the big screen in the James Brown biopic 'Get On Up.' Here she performs at The Academy of Music 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball at the Hyatt in Philadelphia, PA.

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Kelly Rowland had a big year with her marriage to Tim Witherspoon and the birth of her baby boy Titan Jewell. Here she enjoys some fun in the sun as she plays soccer on the beach in Miami, Florida. 

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“How many psychics does it take to convince a sad little girl that she can be much more than the world is telling her she is?,” asked Sidibe. “None. She’s got to be able to convince herself to show up for her own life." Once you begin to show up, the world is yours.

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Lupita Nyong'o was one everyones radar this year. Here she looks radiant as she signs autographs for fans at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California.

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Fresh from the bliss of being newlywed the 'Scandal' star welcomed her beautiful baby girl, Isabelle Amarachi to the world this year. Here she flaunts her baby bump at the 7th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Naomi Campbell plays with kids from a local orphanage in Malindi, Kenya. Multiple philanthropic efforts, glamourous events and smart business moves have kept this lady-about-town busy this year. Campbell is showing no signs of slowing down as she is set to resurrect her acting career in Lee Daniels' upcoming series, Empire

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Queen Latifah accepts the Favorite New Talk Show Host award for 'The Queen Latifah Show' onstage at The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards show at Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles, California. Although the show has recently been cancelled, we're looking forward to what's in store for Queen Latifah. 

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If you're a fan of 'Being Mary Jane' you know that Gabrielle Union and Omari Hardwick's character's have kept it hot and heavy on the small screen this season. Now we're left wondering what's next for Mary Jane and Andre? It looks like we'll have to stay tuned for season two. If you can't get enough of Hardwick though, you can catch him on Starz series, 'Power.' Here the actors visit 106 & Park at BET studio in New York City.

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Sherri Shepherd isn't letting anything slow her down. With a stint on Broadway in 'Cinderella,' a role in Chris Rock's upcoming film, 'Top Five' and a 10-episode run on 'The Soul Man' it's hard to remember anything else but that she's rocking it right now! Although the star suffered an ugly split from her husband this year, it looks like there's no where to go but up. Here Shepherd arrives to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. 

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'Fruitvale Station' co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer were honored with the award for "Top Ten Films of The Year" at the 14th annual AFI Awards Luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California. 

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Angela Bassett gets more fabulous as the years go by! Fans can see her looking faboulous and quite fierce in hit series, 'American Horro Story' or as she makes her directorial debut in Lifetime's Whitney Houston biopic, 'Whitney' which is set to hit the small screen January 17 on Lifetime. Here Bassett heads to a luncheon at BOA in Los Angeles.

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Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are known for having a good time. The couple celebrated in a big way with an extravagant fireworks display at Dwyane Wades 'Rock The Boat' 32nd Birthday Party in Miami Beach, Florida.

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The Zimbabwean-American beauty attends the 2014 InStyle and Warner Bros. 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party in Beverly Hills, California. Guirira slays, literally in her starring role on season five of 'The Walking Dead'.

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The lady of the moment was very busy during awards season and for good reason. Nyong'o made an elegant appearance at the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at The Royal Opera House in London.

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Grace Jones delivered an electrifying performance onstage during the 2014 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

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ESSENCE March cover girl Oprah Winfrey wished Jay Leno a fond farewell on his last night hosting the Tonight Show but has showed no signs of slowing down herselfThe media maven can be seen in upcoming Martin Luther King biopic, Selma.

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On top of being a talented singer and actress Zendaya showed the world that her fashion game is one to be reckoned with this year. The starlet was definitely in her element as she made her rounds during New York Fashion Week ss14 in New York City.

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A pregnant Lil' Kim hit the scene during fashion week at The Blonds fashion show during MADE Fashion Week Fall 2014 at Milk Studios in New York City. The Queen Bee welcomed her bundle of joy, Royal Reign, this summer.

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When it comes to bringing the laughs who better to deliver one of the funniest videos of the year than Will Smith and host Jimmy Fallon? The funny-men were caught mid-action during the 'Evolution of Hip Hop Dancing' skit on The Tonight Show in New York City. Priceless. 

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Professional basketball player Jason Collins arrives at a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. Collins, who made headlines when he came out as the first openly gay NBA player, will retire this year.

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First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama give French President François Hollande a warm welcome prior to a State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House in Washington.

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June Ambrose is the ultimate lady-about-town during fashion week - and really any other week. She's was caught rocking a Givenchy coat and pants, and a Marc Jacobs sweater on the Streets of Manhattan during New York Fashion Week.

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Kelly Rowland made her rounds in style during New York Fashion week in New York City. 

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Rita Ora, Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey and Georgina Chapman are all smiles at The Weinstein Co, Entertainment and Pathe, post-BAFTA party hosted by hosted by Bulgari and Grey Goose at Rosewood London in London, England.

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John Legend plants a big kiss on wife Chrissy Teigen at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50 Years of Swim in NYC Celebration at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Beach House in New York City.

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Kandi Burruss, fiancé Todd Tucker and Mama Joyce Jones of The Real Housewives of Atlanta sat down to discuss their ongoing feud with Sherri Shepherd of ABC's The View.

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India Arie attends the BET Celebration of Gospel 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The soulful songstress recently lent her voice to Stevie Wonder during his current Songs in the Key of Life tour.

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Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes dazzled this season with partner Tony Dovolani on ABC's Dancing With the Stars. The reality star turned full-blown actress has just finished up a stint on Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas and will be on Broadway in Cinderella through January 3rd. 

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Tennis champion Serena Williams swings a hula Hoop with Frankie Sanchez of the Miami Cub Reporter during the Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. 

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Terry Crews and his son were all smiles at the Lakers vs. the Washington Wizards game in Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star made headlines this year when he took on his newest rol as the host of Who Want's To Be A Millionaire? 

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The First Lady of fitness jumps rope with kids on the City Wall in Xian in China's central Shaanxi province. Mrs. Obama went to China this spring in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of education. 

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The ESSENCE Fest alum (and eye candy may we add?) performs at mtvU Spring Break 2014 at the Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun, Mexico.

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Brandy brings the funny as she plays a very pregnant background singer during live episode of The Soul Man LIVE! at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California.

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President Obama met with Pope Francis at his private library in Vatican City, Vatican To discuss income inequality, the conflict raging in Syria, the persecution of Christians around the world and the elusiveness of global peace.

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The hard working brother is seen leaving Good Morning America with newly dyed leopard print hair and all white ensemble.

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On day two of their week long visit to China, Mrs. Obama with her daughters Malia and Sasha are greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Peng Liyuan before meeting at the Diaoyutai State guest house in Beijing, China.

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Kermit the Frog joins First Lady Michelle Obama at a screening of Disney's Muppets Most Wanted at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. The movie's preview was for an audience of military children and families as part of the Joining Forces Initiative.

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All That Jazz! Vanessa Williams makes her debut in Broadway's 'After Midnight' at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City.

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Take A Bow! Anika Noni Rose, LaTanya Richardson, Denzel Washington and Sophie Okonedo during the Broadway Opening Night Curtain Call for 'A Raisin In The Sun' at the Barrymore Theatre in New York City.

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The Knowles sisters shared a special onstage performance during the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California. 2014 was a big year for both ladies; Beyonce dropped her self-titled album and went on tour with husband Jay-Z while Solange married her sweetheart Alan Ferguson in a breathtaking ceremony.

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The first couple leaves the White House wearing their Sunday best to attend a church service in Washington, DC.

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Kym Whitley, Angela Bassett and Holly Robinson-Peete showed some sisterly love as they snapped a selfie during the 7th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Lupita Nyong'o donned a show-stopping Prada frock at the the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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The fashion icon rocked a fierce all-white look to the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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First Lady Michelle Obama join the #BringBackOurGirls movement, she tweeted "Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It's time to #BringBackOurGirls. -mo"

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Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean 'Diddy' Combs still can't stop. This year his music network, Revolt inked a deal with Verizon FIOS. Here he poses in his regalia next to his honorary degree with Mary J. Blige at Howard University's 146th commencement in Washington, D.C. 

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Denzel Washington attended the Shubert Foundation and MTI Broadway Junior Student Share celebration at Broadhurst Theatre in New York City. Washington has been busy this year as the lead in Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun and as the star of feature film The Equalizer.

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The Braided beauty stepped out in New York City looking pretty in pink with a brand new 'do.

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TV personality Wendy Williams visits Pat's King of Steaks during her 'How You Doin'?' tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On top of her tour, the busy lady executive produced the much-talked-about Aaliyah biopic, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B and hosted the Soul Train Music Awards.

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Serena Williams strutted as she showed off her bikini body on Miami Beach.

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Audra McDonald is known for her unforgettable stint in Braodway in Lady Day. The actress made history by winning her 6th Tony Award at the American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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Gladys Knight, Fantasia and Patti LaBelle gave us the diva treatment in a stage performance from 'After Midnight' during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o ws caught in chic on a Hawaii beach as she rocked a white two-piece bikini to show off her hot bikini body.

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Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith continue to defy time as they're caught looking better than ever while having some fun on the beach in Hawaii. The pair seems to be channeling their super powers as Jada stars in drama Gothic and Will gears up for a role in DC comic movie, Suicide Squad.

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While promoting the hilarious sequel to Think Like a Man the female cast members of Think Like a Man Too joined host Robin Roberts as guests on Good Morning America in New York City.

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Singer Jennifer Hudson was hot to trot as she performed onstage in a leather ensemble during the BET AWARDS '14 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California.

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The British actor was photographed on the set of his latest film, A Hundred Streets, with what appeared to be a very, umm, well-packaged member. The photos immediately went viral— but aside from the stir this photo may have causeed, one of the most thrilling roles we saw Elba in this year was alongside Taraji P. Henson in No Good Deed

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Shemar Moore was seen partying on the beach in Miami, Florida and clearly he hasn't missed a beat. The Criminal Minds star plesantly surprised fans when he made his return to The Young and the Restless for a two-episode stint this September.

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Like mother, like daughter! Willow Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are seen staying fit and fabulous while biking in Soho in New York City.

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The powerful duo delivered one of the most anticipated concerts of the summer. Here Jay-Z and Beyonce perform during the 'On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z' at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

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NFL player Michael Sam accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. Sam made waves this year when he became the first openly gay NFL prospect.

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Can we give Idris Elba the eye candy award of the year? Here the gorgeous actor is seen on the set of the film A Hundred Streets in London, England.

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Rapper Nelly joins demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown as they make their voices heard in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters were enraged months later when the officer responsible for Michael Brown's death was not indicted by a Ferguson grand jury. 

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We love crazy-eyes! And when actress Uzo Aduba isn't playing one of our favorite characters from Orange is the New Black the love is still the same. Here Aduba poses with her award for best guest actress in a comedy at the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards press room at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California.

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Who doesn't love a good 'Papa Pope' read on a Thursday evening alongside a glass of wine? Actor Joe Morton posed in the press room during the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards with a very well-deserved award for outstanding guest actor at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California.

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Alicia Keys joined protesters with the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign during the six month anniversary of the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants, in front of the Nigerian consulate in New York. Protesters in Nigeria were set to march on the presidency calling for the release of 219 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants.

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The busy lady was seen leaving dinner at Hakkasan in London. She donned a new haircut that had people talking, whether they loved or hated it. 

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ESSENCE Bkack Women in Hollywood honoree Lupita Nyong'o had only good things to say about Alek Wek during her moving speech. The two ladies attend the Sindika Dokolo Art Foundation dinner at Cafe Royal in London, England.

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Jamie Foxx and Tina Knowles dance at Angel Ball 2014 hosted by Gabrielle's Angel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Foxx is currently preparing for the release of the Annie remake, set to hit theaters December 19. 

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Viola Davis spends a beautiful weekend with her adorable daughter Genesis at Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in West Hollywood. When she's not fulfilling her mommy duties, Davis can be seen starring in Shonda Rhimes drama How to Get Away With Murder. 

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Bon Voyage! President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One dressed to the nines. Obama was returning to Westchester County, New York to attend the wedding of his personal chef Sam Kass.

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Boris Kodjoe and his father Eric Kodjoe spend quality time as they attend Day 9 of the 2014 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

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Mo'ne Davis and Queen Latifah are fully decked out in baseball gear just before the Dodgers game. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals by the final score of 4-1 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

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ESSENCE cover girl Keke Palmer is on a roll! After becoming the youngest talk show host ever the starlet debuts in 'Cinderella' on Broadway at Broadway Theatre in New York City. Talk about all grown up! 

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In a classic moment, MC Lyte, Brandy, Queen Latifah, and Yo-Yo commemorated the 20th anniversary of 90's hit "I Wanna Be Down (Remix)' with an onstage performance at the 'BET Hip Hop Awards 2014' in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Rob Bell and Oprah Winfrey watch as Iyanla Vanzant pulls a face at Oprah Winfrey's 'Oprah's Life You Want Weekend' at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The eight-city tour provided uplifting tips and guidance for attendees looking to take control of their lives. 

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Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union celebrated their love with a beautiful ceremony on August 30. Wade wore a customized Dsquared2 Tuxedo while Gabrielle Union wore a Dennis Basso gown The couple posed in this offcial wedding photograph taken in Miami, Florida. 

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Oprah Winfrey receives the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The honor is given to African Americans in recognition of their contributions to the culture. 

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Kelly Rowland showcases her new watch and her baby bump at the TW Steel Special Edition Timepiece Launch Party in Los Angeles, California.

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Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz was too cool as he was seen arriving at the Late Show With David Letterman taping at in New York City.

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Rihanna is clearly all about her family. The star loves to share sweet pictures of her loved ones.   Here, the singer celebrates her Grandfather Bravo's 86th birthday at Philippe Chow restaurant in New York City.

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Between his precise footwork and "The Carlton Dance," Alfonso Ribeiro had the Dancing with the Stars season 19 win in the bag. Here Ribeiro holds his trophy high alongside dance parter Witney Carson.

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Usher looks like the spitting image of his proud mama Jonetta Patton as they attend the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Usher's New Look at the President's Circle Awards Luncheon in Atlanta, Georgia.