The star, who passed away after a battle with cancer last year at age 43, was honoured with the Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama award on Feb. 28. His wife, singer Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the prize on his behalf in an emotional speech in which she shared just how much he meant to her, and the many people he would thank were he still there to make his own remarks.
"He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices. He would thank his incredible team," she began, fighting back tears.
"He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amply that little voice inside of all of us that tells you, 'You can,' that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history," she continues.
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) March 1, 2021
The speech moved many Golden Globes attendees. Renee Zellweger, who picked up the Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama award for Judy last year, was seen crying as she watched. Viola Davis, Chadwick's co-star in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, was also visibly emotional as Taylor spoke, fighting tears back herself.
"And I don't have his words," Taylor finished, "but we have to take all the moment to celebrate those we love, so thank you... and honey, you keep 'em coming."
Months before the Netflix film was even released, Chadwick's performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was already garnering rave reviews. In it, he plays Levee Green, Ma's trumpeter, who gives a stunning speech in which he castigates racism. The film is mostly shot in a single room, and sees each actor dive deep within their talents to deliver some incredible performances.
Chadwick could win many more posthumous awards for his performance in the film this year. He's also up for a Critics' Choice Movie Award for the role, along with two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He's also been nominated for his work in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods at the Critics' Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and he's a clear favourite for the Oscars as well.