Stars, Super Bowl royalty, socialites and a beautiful crowd from all over the country converged at the Houston-based Bayou Place on Saturday night to recognize a special guest for his on- and off-the-field achievements as well as to enjoy a night of dancing, cocktails and even an early-morning breakfast in the hours leading up to the big game.

Troy Vincent, former NFL star-turned-executive and philanthropist received recognition via the Pathfinder Award at this EBONY Celebration of Champions. EBONY Media Operations Vice Chairman Willard Jackson bestowed the honor on Vincent, a 15-year NFL veteran who became the first active player to serve on the National Board of Directors for Pop Warner Little Scholars Football.

After an illustrious career on the gridiron, the New Jersey native went on to become Executive Vice President of Operations and currently lectures athletes on financial planning and wealth building. He is also a celebrated spokesman against domestic violence.

The Celebration of Champions, which featured opening remarks from EBONY Chairman Emeritus Linda Johnson Rice; EMO Chairman Michael Gibson; and EMO CEO Cheryl Mayberry McKissack.

Attendees also received warm welcomes from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in town to support his hometown Falcons, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

DJ D-Nice was on the one’s and two’s, keeping the classy crowd moving. Celebs Nas, Anthony Anderson, CeCe Penniston, and rap legend Willie D were in attendance.

Around midnight, classic performers Frankie Beverly and Maze took to the stage for smooth delivery of “Before I Let You Go” and “California.” The audience in the packed room sang along.

The invite-only soiree lasted well into the wee hours, nibbling on kimchi hot dogs, crabcakes and other gourmet-meets-comfort food until almost 3 a.m.

Check out images of #BlackExcellence from the EBONY Celebration of Champions in our gallery.