Ariana DeBose Returns to Host 2024 Tony Awards

The actress went viral after her 'Angela Bassett did the thing' rap performance at the 2023 BAFTA Awards.

The excitement for Broadway's biggest night is already building as Academy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose announces her return as host for the 2024 Tony Awards. 

This marks DeBose's third stint as host, with the prestigious event set to take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. ET. 

DeBose's return to the Tony Awards follows her viral rap performance at the 2023 BAFTA Awards, which sent social media into a frenzy. The multitalented actress, known for her roles in the West Side Story movie and Broadway's Hamilton, will not only grace the stage as the host but also serve as a producer and choreographer for the opening number, promising an unforgettable start to the evening.

"I couldn’t pass up the chance to host the Tonys one more time at Lincoln Center. I’m excited to collaborate with the team to create an incredible celebration of this season’s achievements on Broadway for our community and for everyone at home," expressed DeBose, exuding enthusiasm for her return to the Tony Awards stage.

The announcement of DeBose's return was met with resounding approval from key figures in the theater industry. Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, and Jason Laks, interim president of the Broadway League, lauded DeBose's artistic flair and talent, stating, "Ariana's unique sense of artistry, creativity, and talent continues to elevate the show and captivate nominees and viewers alike."

DeBose spoke out in February 2023 after her "Angela Bassett did the thing" rap performance at the 2023 BAFTAs went viral.

During an interview on BBC Radio 2's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, the West Side Story star brushed away the criticism and instead focused on the love she received. Ball was among those who loved the performance, saying "it was a woman, singing and dancing, being magnificent, celebrating women onstage."

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"You know what, you might be one of the few [who loved the performance]," DeBose said. "I'll take it, because you're my people!"

DeBose -- who opened the 2023 BAFTA Awards performing "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" and "We Are Family" as well as an original rap where she shouted out the awards show's female nominees -- shared a bit about how the performance came about.

"Honestly, it's not like I'm like, 'Hey BAFTA, let me in.' They actually called me, believe it or not," she said. "But that was the assignment. Like, 'Come celebrate women,' and I was like, 'Absolutely!' We did that and it was fun. Not gonna lie. I had a blast."

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As for this year's Tonys, in addition to the main event, CBS and Pluto TV will partner again to present The Tony Awards: Act One, a pre-show featuring live, exclusive content leading into the 77th annual awards ceremony. 

The Tony Awards will honor the incredible artistry of the 2023-2024 Broadway season, and nominees will be announced on Tuesday, April 30.


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