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Iconic women in the music industry shine at Essence Festival 2018 in New Orleans. (8th of July)
AP

BEVERLY HILLS, California – Actors, musicians and stars gathered to celebrate and honor black women on Thursday at Essence Black Women in Hollywood.

Kelly Rowland hosted the 12th Annual Lunch at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, starring "black-ish" star Jenifer Lewis, "Girls Trip" star Regina Hall, "If Beale Street Could Talk" actress KiKi Layne and " The Hate U Give "star Amandla Stenberg distinguished.

The festival brought together celebrities from all backgrounds to celebrate the theme of the "power of our present," from Oscar nominees Regina King and Angela Bassett to Diddy and Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson.

Here are the biggest moments of the afternoon:

Honoree's Regina Hall, KiKi Layne, Amandla Stenberg, and Jenifer Lewis will be attending the Luncheon Essence Black Women's Hollywood Awards on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 2019. [Photo: Rich Polk, Getty Images for Essence]

Stars speak (and sing) about Jussie Smollett

The only dark cloud around the feast day was apparently the only development in the Smollett When the "Empire "Actor was arrested on Thursday morning on charges of disorderly conduct by a false police report.

Although Lewis had "absolutely no comment" on the situation on the red carpet, she used a song to express her thoughts during her speech accepting the luncheon award, although Smollett was not mentioned by name.

"Before you lie to us, remember Rosa sitting in that bus / Before you tell your story, remember Mandela sitting in this prison / Before you do anything, remember Dr. Martin Luther King / Before you intervene and steal, I dare you googling Emmett Till, "Lewis sang, before turning back to her speaking voice. "Before another dawn, after this confusion, before another dawn, and I speak to everyone, remember whose shoulders you are standing on."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Said that Smollett was "a friend" in which he summarized some of her past experiences.

"I'm so worried and I want it over," Waters said. "I'm sorry that he actually disappointed us, I want to wait until the final answer and the results, but it's a tragedy, if it's actually a joke."

"I do not trust what the media say," "Think like a man," said Meagan Good. "I do not know if I believe what the media say, the person I know Jussie is not that person, here I am."

The "unsafe" actress Yvonne Orji said she is "with a lot" of people who are really confused now. We do not know what we should think about it.

Jussie Smollett's Investigation Timeline: How The Actor Has Been Destined By The Fallouter To The Suspect

How To Spend Oscars Night

"Black Panther" is scheduled for some Oscars this year, including the best picture and costume design, and the cast members are hoping for another big hit after their SAG Awards milestone as the Best Ensemble.

Bassett, who played Queen Ramonda in the Marvel superhero Juggernaut, will be on 91st Sunday She has been giving Oscar Awards and she has been sharing how she will spend the evening with her co-stars.

"We'll see each other this evening, we'll hug, we'll shine," she said, "We'll be proud we hope, [and] we have a wonderful expectation of good. And we'll go to work the next day. "

More: Oscar Costume Party! Get up close with iconic outfits from" Black Panther, "" Bohemian "

breakout star KiKi Layne Although her voice was low (due to allergies she promises), she left everyone in the room ballroom with a lump in her throat at the end of her speech after an equally emotional introduction of King King on the screen Layne on stage to talk about Essence's cover art and go into the glory after her role as Tish in the role of "Moonlight" by director Barry Jenkins.

"To be here and receive this award, Show me that I'm not alone in all of this, "she said.

" People keep asking me, 'How was that all?' It's really exciting and I'm very grateful, but it's also very scary. ' she said u nd was suffocated. "Sometimes it's really scary … and I find it hard to say that to people and ask for help, so I am grateful to be in this room with so many people who have just so much love, support and have shown encouragement. "

Sanaa Lathan announces that Regina Hall has almost become a nun.

While introducing Hall for her award, Lathan spilled some tea (she said she knew "all" of bestie Hall's secrets). And the tea was this hall, known for its roles in "Scary Movie", "Support the Girls" and currently "Black Monday" by Showtime. Almost the industry had almost left to join a monastery.

Lathan joked that Hall was the only reason Today is not a nun because the cutoff age was 40 and Hall was 41 at the time. Hall himself confirmed this treat during her speech and in part attributed the decision to a bad split. She described a time in the midst of her heartache when Lathan brought her to an "intuitive" woman: "That's just before the convent almost happened, and I remember being so excited, but my friends were there [for me]. "

Amber Riley meets all the right notes with the performance of Aretha Franklin.

It's been a couple of years since "Glee" ended, but Riley showed that her voice did not miss a beat.

Lunch paused Between the acceptance speeches to give the audience in the ballroom a musical interlude, courtesy of Riley, accompanied by a pianist.

She gave a rousing performance of Franklin's hit "A Natural Woman", which would have been made proud of the deceased queen of the soul.

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