Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations to Grammy winning-superstar Toni Braxton and accomplished television and film actress Wendy Raquel Robinson. The two divas were honored over the holiday weekend in New Orleans at the 13th Annual McDonald’s 365BlackAwards. The ceremony was held during the ESSENCE Festival and was presented by Coca Cola and hosted by Amber Riley and Lance Gross.

McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round.

Actress and singer Amber Riley and actor Lance Gross co-hosts the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

This year’s other honorees included football cornerback Charles Tillman; educator and historian Lonnie Bunch; and McDonald’s owner/operator Larry Triplett. Additionally, teen philanthropist Lauren Seroyer and teen social-entrepreneur Donovan Smith were recognized alongside this lineup with the third McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award, facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Singing siblings and reality television co-stars The Braxton Sisters performed a show-stopping tribute to their sister, who received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Vocal powerhouse Kelly Price, along with recording artists Kenny Lattimore, V. Bozeman and Eric Benet also joined the sisters in the tribute to Toni. Other performers included Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, Chrisette Michele, Ro James and Canton Jones.

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Celebrities in attendance included actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Erica Ash and Gabrielle Dennis, along with actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Ronreaco Lee and Jay Ellis, were among this year’s presenters. Other stars spotted on the red carpet included recording artists Jordin Sparks, Avery Wilson and Guordan Banks, as well as music producer Sean Garrett and comedian/philanthropist Ricky Smith. Actor, comedian and popular internet personality King Bach.

Christian Rapper and reality television personality Canton Jones performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

“We salute this year’s honorees for all of their achievements and for positively contributing to their communities,” said William Rhodes, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “It is important to acknowledge people who are making a real difference. We at McDonald’s are proud to be able to honor this group with this form of recognition. We hope it inspires them and others to continue to make positive impact.”

Those who missed the live awards ceremony can share in the experience by watching the broadcast on BET® Networks and CENTRIC later this summer.

Check out more photos below:

Actress and Recording Artist Jordin Sparks attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Jordin Sparks

Recording Artist and Reality Television Personality Tamar Braxton attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Tamar Braxton

Actor Cornelius Smith, Jr. attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Cornelius Smith Jr.

Recording Artist Kelly Price attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Kelly Price

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Anthony Hamilton

Recording artist V. Bozeman performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

V. Bozeman

Recording Artist Kenny Lattimore attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Kenny Lattimore 

Actress and comedienne Erica Ash attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Erica Ash

Recording artist Eric Benet performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Eric Benet

Recording Artist Avery Wilson attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Avery Wilson

Singer Chrisette Michele performs at the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Chrisette Michele

Actress and honoree Wendy Raquel Robinson attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Wendy Raquel Robinson accepting her award

Singer and honoree Toni Braxton attends the 13th Annual McDonald's 365 Black Awards at the Ernest Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Toni Braxton accepting her award

Photo Credits: Soul Brother

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