The 2018 EBONY Power 100 gala took place last night, Nov. 30, at the beautiful Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The list, which the storied brand introduced to the masses in 1971, was created to celebrate the achievements of influential Black leaders within a variety of fields. From entrepreneurs to innovators to our favorites in arts & entertainment, Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy were on full display during the star-studded affair sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, United Airlines, Lexus, Motown and Tanqueray.
The best of Black excellence hit the red carpet dressed to the nines, including cast members from some of our most beloved shows. FX hit POSE, OWN drama Queen Sugar and Netflix favorite Dear White People all made their presence known, bringing the #MelaninMagic as only they could.
Fox Sports 1 anchor Mike Hill hit the red carpet for Lexus, interviewing event sponsors and guests as they filled the Wilshire Ballroom. As usual, girlfriend Cynthia Bailey of Real Housewives of Atlanta was right by his side.
Other guests to walk the red carpet included Golden Globe-nominated actor David Oyelowo; recent Democratic Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum; model Eva Marcille; singer Yolanda Adams; WWE superstar Titus O’Neil; CNN political analyst Symone Sanders; actress Kat Graham; Queen Sugar‘s Kofi Siriboe and Bianca Lawson, and many more.
After strutting their stuff for the cameras, attendees entered the beautiful International Ballroom to find their seats for the night. Tables were decorated with beautiful votives as well as vintage EBONY magazine covers, including issues featuring icons such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson.
Host Chris Tucker hilariously kept the energy up all night as EBONY recognized 100 honorees from eight categories: Community Crusaders, Disruptors, Entertainment & Arts, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, MVPs, Power Players and the coveted Women Up category.
Former BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee was honored as the inaugural recipient of the EBONY Power 100 Chairman’s Award. Motown Records received the EBONY Icon Award. Motown’s JAMESDAVIS blessed the stage while guests enjoyed dinner and signature cocktails from Tanqueray.
Ne-yo closed out the gala with a medley of hits that had guests, including This Is Us star and honoree Susan Kelechi Watson, getting their two-step on post-dessert. Tucker then directed attendees to the International Terrace, where the after-party kept going with DJ Clark Kent.
Congratulations to every EBONY Power 100 honoree on an incredible evening!
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.