The gift that keeps on giving: BAFTAs rapper Ariana DeBose to host Tony Awards

Ariana DeBose smiles in a sparkly dress against a cream background.
Ariana DeBose has been tapped to host the 2023 Tony Awards.
(Ashley Landis / Invision / AP)

Hot off her BAFTAs rap glory, Ariana DeBose has been tapped to host the Tony Awards for the second year in a row.

The “Hamilton” and “West Side Story” star will host the ceremony live from New York City’s United Palace in Washington Heights, the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing announced Wednesday. The show will air June 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. Pacific on CBS, in addition to streaming live and on-demand via Paramount+.

“I was honored to serve as host last year and even more so to be asked back!” DeBose said in a statement.


“So looking forward to celebrating this incredible season and the people who make the work happen. Here’s to adding some uptown flavor to the magic of the Tony Awards!”

Ariana DeBose, new Academy Award winner and Tony Award nominee, will host this year’s Tony Awards.

May 4, 2022

DeBose has become somewhat of an awards-season favorite in recent years after winning her first Oscar for “West Side Story” in 2022 and blessing us with her BAFTAs rap this year. At the British Academy Film Awards, the singer and actor paid tribute to the female nominees with a musical number that was both widely mocked and beloved on social media.

Select lyrics from her performance — such as “Jamie Lee, you are all of us” and “Angela Bassett did the thing” — have continued to reverberate across the internet and beyond. (Both DeBose and Bassett made cheeky references to the viral moment during subsequent awards shows.)

“Ariana will host and dance and sing, we’re so thrilled she’s back to do the thing,” Tony Awards producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner said in a statement playing on the BAFTAs rap.

“A force both on and off the stage, Ariana DeBose is unstoppable — an Award-winning actress, powerhouse vocalist and commanding dancer — she is the true definition of ‘triple-threat,’” added Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “We are thrilled to welcome back one of Broadway’s brightest lights to dazzle, inspire and illuminate this year’s Tony Awards!”

‘I just wanted to make sure she was OK,’ Angela Bassett said at the NAACP Image Awards after messaging Ariana DeBose about her endlessly memed BAFTAs rap.

Feb. 26, 2023