Keke Palmer spoke about the ''devastating loss'' of Chadwick Boseman as she opened the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.

The 'Snack' hitmaker paid tribute to the late 'Black Panther' actor - who died earlier this week at the age of 43 after a secret battle with colon cancer - as she hosted the socially distanced award show on Sunday evening (30.08.20).

In her opening speech, she remembered Chadwick, saying: ''Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered,'' she stated. ''We dedicate tonight's show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.''

As well as Keke's tribute, MTV also showed a short segment of Chadwick's speech at the 2018 MTV TV and Movie Awards.

Keke also admitted 2020 had been ''a rough year for everyone'' as she spoke of the heroes of the year, including those fronting the Black Lives Matter movement as well as those working tirelessly through the pandemic.

In her monologue to start the show, she added: ''But it's not all different this year. One of the coolest parts of the VMAs is that we have the best fans in the world. And guess what, they even make some noise. I gotta say 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for everyone. And I'm not just talking about my edges. In fact, when something goes wrong I just say 2020. But as rough as it's been, there have been incredible moments of inspiration that have given my generation hope, when we've seen heroes go above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store or serve on the front lines in a hospital, and with the Black Lives Matter movement.''

And Keke insisted music has the ''power'' to heal as she called for change and for people to come together to be ''leaders''.

She added: ''The leaders of that movement are you, us, the people watching tonight. It's our time to be the change we want to see. We need to come together and music - music has that power, music can help us heal. It's all love. And that's what's important. We are making the impossible possible pushing the boundaries of music performances because that's what we do on the VMAs.''