Magic Johnson and Natalie Cole Honored at NAACP Awards Show

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

Earvin (Magic) Johnson won a special award and singer Natalie Cole won three awards at the 24th annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night at the Wiltern Theatre.

Television talk-show host Arsenio Hall was presented the Key of Life Award by singer Paula Abdul for his efforts to help the homeless and needy.

Johnson, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in November after contracting the virus that causes AIDS, was presented the Jackie Robinson Sports Award. Johnson was recognized for serving as a role model for young people and for his philanthropy.


Cole won three trophies, including best female artist, best jazz artist and best music video for “Unforgettable,” featuring her late father, Nat King Cole.

Each year the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People honors entertainers, shows and films that project positive images of blacks. This year’s theme was “The Black Renaissance.”