Beyoncé was announced as one of the recipients of a Peabody Award in the entertainment category on Thursday (Apr. 20) when she took home one of the prestigious awards for her visual album Lemonade. Joining her was Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), who was honored for his groundbreaking FX show about his hometown hip-hop scene, Atlanta.
Both were among the 60 previously announced finalists for the prize focused on the most compelling/empowering stories told using electronic media in 2016.
In honoring Lemonade, the Peabody judges wrote that the visual spectacle that aired on HBO: “Draws from the prolific literary, musical, cinematic, and aesthetic sensibilities of black cultural producers to create a rich tapestry of poetic innovation. The audacity of its reach and fierceness of its vision challenges our cultural imagination, while crafting a stunning and sublime masterpiece about the lives of women of color and the bonds of friendship seldom seen or heard in American popular culture.”
They had similarly high praise for Glover’s gritty Golden Globe-winning sadcom Atlanta, which chronicles the life of two cousins struggling to break through in the ATL. “Donald Glover’s enchanting series on the struggles of two young black men trying to make it in Atlanta’s rap scene blends vibrant character study and rich socio-political commentary in delivering a detailed and textured exploration of a Southern city.”
Two music docs were also honored in the announcements, including HBO Canada’s music docuseries Hip-Hop Evolution, which traced the evolution of hip-hop in the 1970s via interviews with such icons as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Melle Mel, LL Cool J and Run D.M.C. “An entertaining, consummate history of hip-hop music told in a series of interviews with influential MCs, DJs, and moguls who were there at the beginning of the genre’s birth and through its dynamic evolution,” the judges wrote.
Another HBO project, Mavis!, a documentary about the gospel/soul legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, the Staples Singers featuring appearances by Bob Dylan, Prince, Jeff Tweedy and many others was called: “More than just a biopic, this story celebrates the deep influence of Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers across music genres—from gospel to soul and rock-and-roll. “MAVIS!” illustrates the history of social movements in America and is a powerful reminder of one woman’s impact on popular culture.”
For a full list of the the seven entertainment programs that are among this year’s Peabody 30, click here. The Peabody winners and finalists will be feted at a gala in New York on May 20 in a special that will air on PBS and Fusion networks on June 2, hosted by Angie Tribeca star and previous Peabody honoree Rashida Jones.