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VMAs pay touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman

The Black Panther star died following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

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The MTV Video Music Awards were dedicated to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death aged 43 (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The MTV Video Music Awards were dedicated to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death aged 43 (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The MTV Video Music Awards were dedicated to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death aged 43 (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The MTV Video Music Awards were dedicated to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman following his death aged 43.

The actor, best known for playing superhero T’Challa in the Marvel films, had privately fought colon cancer since being diagnosed in 2016.

Boseman’s family announced his death on Friday, saying he died surrounded by loved ones.

The VMAs opened on a sombre note, with host Keke Palmer paying tribute to Boseman, whose other film roles included playing baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson in 42 and soul singer James Brown in Get On Up.

Palmer said: “Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered.

“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”

There was also a video tribute to Boseman which included his appearance at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards.

After accepting the best hero prize for Black Panther, Boseman dedicated the award to real-life hero James Shaw Jr, who tackled a gunman at a restaurant in Tennessee after he opened fire and killed four people.

Boseman was also included in the In Memoriam segment, which featured stars who have died in the last 12 months, such as Glee actress Naya Rivera.

And following the final performance of the night, the Black Eyed Peas shouted “Wakanda Forever”, the slogan which encapsulated the burst in black pride felt around the world following the 2018 release of Black Panther.

Boseman’s death stunned Hollywood, with former US president Barack Obama, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Boseman’s Marvel co-stars all paying tribute.

PA