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What the 2024 Nominees Wore to Their First NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet: Kerry Washington Goes Strapless, Quinta Brunson in Dundas and More

Each year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards honors the best performances and creative breakthroughs in the entertainment industry. For decades, the red carpet of the awards show has been full of stars, and a number of first-time attendees.

While actors like Kerry Washington have been hitting the NAACP Image Awards red carpet since the early 2000s, stars like Quinta Brunson and Janelle James attended their first show within the last few years.

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Ahead, take a look at a collection of this year’s nominees and what they wore to their first NAACP Image Awards show red carpet.

Kerry Washington, 2004

Actress Kerry Washington attends the 35th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre March 6, 2004 in Hollywood, California.
Kerry Washington at the 2004 NAACP Image Awards.

Kerry Washington made her first appearance on the NAACP Image Awards red carpet 20 years ago. The actress, who’s won four NAACP Image Awards, fashioned a strapless, tea-length dress with intricate overlay detailing. She’s nominated this year for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for “UnPrisoned.”

Sheryl Lee Ralph, 1988

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph attending 21st Annual NAACP Image Awards on December 10, 1988 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Sheryl Lee Ralph at the 1988 NAACP Image Awards.

Beloved for her Emmy-winning turn on ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” Sheryl Lee Ralph wore this glittering statement dress at the NAACP Image Wards in 1988. The actress paired the ensemble with bold pink earrings. She’s nominated this year for her work in “Abbott Elementary.”

Angela Bassett, 1993

Angela Bassett during 25th Annual NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States.
Angela Bassett at the 1993 NAACP Image Awards.

Angela Bassett brought absolute regality to the 1993 NAACP Image Awards with this black and yellow minidress with coordinating jacket and headpiece. The Oscar-nominated actress is the recipient of 15 NAACP Image Awards, including 2023’s Entertainer of the Year honor. She’s nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in “9-1-1.”

Janelle James, 2023

Janelle James attends the 54th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 25, 2023 in Pasadena, California.
Janelle James at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards.

“Abbott Elementary” star Janelle James fashioned this black velvet with silver detailing strapless gown from Christian Siriano’s 2023 pre-fall collection at her first NAACP Image Awards. She won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and is nominated for the same award this year.

Quinta Brunson, 2023

Quinta Brunson attends the 54th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 25, 2023 in Pasadena, California.
Quinta Brunson at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards.

Quinta Brunson also hit the NAACP Image Awards for the first time in 2023. Brunson wore a shimmering pale gold strapless Peter Dundas gown, which featured a high slit and train. She won three awards last year for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television), all of which were for “Abbott Elementary.” She’s nominated this year for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.

Octavia Spencer, 2012

Actress Octavia Spencer poses in the press room at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Octavia Spencer at the 2012 NAACP Image Awards.

Octavia Spencer won big during her first NAACP Image Awards. The Oscar-winner won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her work in “The Help.” At the ceremony, Spencer wore a silky sky blue gown by Tadashi Shoji.

First held in 1967, the NAACP Image Awards honors outstanding performances in film, TV, theater, and more. Each year, NAACP members vote on a number of categories, and the competitive awards, along with significant honors, are handed out. Beyoncé holds the most NAACP Image Awards, winning 25 as an individual artist.

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