From “Eddie Murphy Raw” to “Coming 2 America” and everything in between, legendary comedian, actor and producer Eddie Murphy has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of entertainment and the Brooklyn native will receive a major accolade for his contributions. Murphy will be added to the NAACP’s Image Awards Hall of Fame.
News about his induction comes on the heels of the success of the sequel to his classic film “Coming to America.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star-studded film—released on March 5 on Amazon Prime—had the best performing opening weekend of any movie that premiered on a streaming service in the past year. Murphy—who launched his career doing stand-up comedy before stepping into the film industry—has starred in over 70 films over nearly four decades, including “48 Hours,” “Trading Places,” “Harlem Nights” and “The Nutty Professor.”
Derrick Johnson, who serves as President and CEO of the NAACP, says the organization wanted to shine a light on Murphy’s pioneering work, impact and influence. “We are honored to celebrate one of the most influential comedic geniuses in the entertainment industry and an individual who has inspired a generation of Black talent,” Johnson said in a statement. “To this day, Eddie Murphy’s work continues to bring joy and laughter to individuals around the world, and he is an amazing example of Black excellence, creativity, and artistry.” Murphy’s Hall of Fame Award will be presented during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27 by comic star Arsenio Hall; a close friend of his who has collaborated with Murphy on several projects.
Murphy joins a list of influential individuals across different industries who have been inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame, including Sidney Poitier, Aretha Franklin, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee. During an interview with Parade, Murphy expressed optimism about 2021.
“Everything’s fresh and new, and everything’s resetting. But I’m not afraid of that. I’m not afraid of anything,” Murphy said.