If you were at all concerned about Keke Palmer’s career prospects following the cancellation of Strahan, Sara & Keke, you needn’t be. In fact, the multitalented entertainer will be multitasking in the coming months, scoring two high-profile gigs we’ll likely all be “keke-ing” about (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves).
First up: As reported by the New York Post, Palmer was just announced as the host of the 37th annual MTV Video Music Awards, set to take place in New York on August 30 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, just days after the actress and singer celebrates her 27th birthday on August 26.
“We’re thrilled to have the multitalented Keke Palmer as this year’s ‘VMAs’ host,” said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, the parent company of MTV. “Keke is an energetic force and a quadruple threat with unmatched comedic wit who will make this year’s show truly unforgettable.”
It’ll also be intriguing to see how the always over-the-top production adapts to our new normal—and how it might set the stage for award shows to come. This year’s VMAs will be the first major awards show held in-person since the onset of the pandemic and resulting social distancing guidelines.
Of course, we’ll be watching safely from the comfort of our homes, as we will for Palmer’s other new project, the rebooted and highly anticipated The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder on Disney+. On Thursday, Disney announced Palmer is joining the cast as an original character with a decidedly activist streak—fitting, considering the passionate talking-to she gave a National Guardsman during a Los Angeles protest in June.
The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder stars Kyla Pratt (Penny Proud), Tommy Davidson (Oscar Proud), Paula Jai Parker (Trudy Proud), Jo Marie Payton (Suga Mama) and Cedric the Entertainer (Uncle Bobby). Disney graciously shared a few more details on the new character, via a press release emailed to The Root:
Keke Palmer joins the cast of #The Proud Family: #Louder and Prouder as Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, a 14-year-old activist who relentlessly marches to the beat of her own drum. She is extremely mature for her age and will not hesitate to shut anyone down with her blunt honesty and wisdom. The adopted daughter of mixed race parents, Maya is new to town, and initially disassociates herself from Penny and her crew because she is skeptical about what she perceives to be the superficiality of social cliques. However, Penny eventually gains her hard-earned respect and the two become good friends.
Of course, Disney+ still hasn’t announced a premiere date for the reboot, but we’ll be waiting—and hoping the VMAs prioritize safety over sexiness this year. So far, the ceremony’s looking...interesting. Aside from Keke; Doja Cat and J. Balvin were among the first performers announced, and Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga lead nominations, though The Weeknd has also scored several nods. We’ll be keeping an eye out as performers continue to be announced.