VMAs 2020: 5 things you need to know about this year's host Keke Palmer

The 27-year-old is the first Black woman to host the VMAs solo.
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/ Source: TODAY

Keke Palmer is having a breakout year!

The actress, singer and television personality will host the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday from New York City. While the show will be socially distanced and won't have its usual star-studded audience in one room, count on Palmer to bring plenty of laughs and fun to the evening.

Keke Palmer arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Newark, N.J. on Aug. 26, 2019. Palmer will host the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.Evan Agostini / AP

Here are five things to know about the multi-talented 27-year-old who will preside over one of the biggest nights in pop culture this year.

Who is Keke Palmer?

1. Palmer made her film debut alongside Queen Latifah

Palmer, whose full name is Lauren Keyana Palmer, made her film debut in 2004 when she played Queen Latifah's niece in "Barbershop 2: Back in Business." Her talent was noticed in Hollywood.

In 2006, she played the title character in "Akeelah and the Bee" opposite Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.

2. She signed a recording contract when she was 12

Palmer wasn't even yet a teenager when she signed with Atlantic Records in 2005. Her single "All My Girlz" was included on the "Akeelah and the Bee" soundtrack, showing the world just how multi-talented she is.

Her debut album, "So Uncool," dropped in 2007. While she's kept busy with acting and hosting gigs over the years, music is still an important part of Palmer's life. She dropped her latest album, Virgo Tendencies Pt. 1, just last week.

3. Palmer had a breakout role in "Hustlers"

While Palmer has had plenty of steady work since she first graced the big screen as a pre-teen, she won over new fans with a breakout role in the 2019 film "Hustlers" alongside Jennifer Lopez.

In the movie, Palmer played Mercedes, a stripper who helped ringleader Ramona, who was played by Lopez, pull off their scheme to steal money from unsuspecting men.

Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of 'Hustlers' on April 25, 2019 in New York City.Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

4. She had a viral moment in June at a protest

Palmer is a big supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In June, a video went viral of her urging National Guard members in Los Angeles to “march beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you’re here for us.” Her impassioned speech won Palmer plenty of new fans who praised her for using her platform to promote equal rights for all.

5. Hosting the VMAs is a dream come true

Palmer watched the MTV VMAs as a kid, so to be hosting the show, and be the first Black woman to do so solo, is a special moment for the talented star. (This also isn't the first time she has made history. In 2014, she was the first Black woman to play "Cinderella" on Broadway.)

"I'm too excited about this. First of all, the VMAs! I love the VMAs," she told E!. "I watched it always growing up, so to be hosting is insane. But then also, the opportunity to just have fun and cut up. It's going to be too much."

There will be plenty of famous faces gracing the virtual stage tonight, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd, but Palmer said there's one performance in particular she cant' wait to watch.

"BTS I know always brings it and it's history being made. (A) K-pop group performing on the VMAs stage, this is awesome and needs to happen," she said. "I'm excited."