Tony Awards: Joaquina Kalukango earns standing for ‘Let It Burn’ after leaving fans ‘speechless’

Joaquina Kalukango’s performance proved to be one of the biggest highlights, and she later won the Best Leading Actress in a Musical


                            Tony Awards: Joaquina Kalukango earns standing for ‘Let It Burn’ after leaving fans ‘speechless’
Joaquina Kalukango performs a number from 'Paradise Square' onstage at the 75th Annual Tony Awards (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
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The 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12 saw some of the biggest performances of the night but no one could match up to the thrilling set of Joaquina Kalukango. The actress received three standing ovations. Joaquina, who performed the song ‘Let It Burn’ from ‘Paradise Square,’ made the audience emotional as they stood for her in the middle of her act.
 
Joaquina Kalukango then received another standing ovation when she wrapped up her set with tears rolling down her cheeks. The third one came when the actress scooped the 2022 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in ‘Paradise Square.’ Joaquina won the coveted award after beating the likes of Sharon D Clarke of ‘Caroline, Or Change’, Carmen Cusack of ‘Flying Over Sunset’, Sutton Foster of ‘The Music Man’, and Mare Winningham of ‘Girl From the North Country.’  
 
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Joaquina Kalukango performs a number from "Paradise Square" onstage at the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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Joaquina Kalukango wins big after standing ovation for ‘Let It Burn’

Joaquina Kalukango’s stellar performance of ‘Let It Burn’ proved to be one of the biggest highlights of the 75th Tony Awards. Joaquina later won the Best Leading Actress in a Musical, which was the cherry on the cake. While accepting her award, the actress said, “Thank you to my incredible company. This is ours.” Getting all emotional, she continued, “Look at what we have created. We gave ourselves a voice. I give thanks to all the nameless ancestors who have suffered. This song, this show, gives power to that. I honor them every day."
 
This marks Joaquina’s second Tony nomination and first win. Her previous Broadway credits include ‘Slave Play’, ‘The Color Purple’, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ and ‘Godspell.’ The 75th Tony Awards were aired at 7 pm ET on Paramount + and 8 pm ET on CBS. The main event was hosted by DeBose. Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, and Jessica Chastain were some of the other celebrity presenters.

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Joaquina Kalukango, winner of the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Paradise Square," poses in the press room during the 75th Annual Tony Awards at 3 West Club on June 12, 2022 in New York City (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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‘Joaquina Kalukango brought the house down’

“There are zero words. ZERO. WORDS. for Joaquina Kalukango's performance. The power. The emotion. The single tear. Perfection.”, said one user as another posted, “Joaquina Kalukango has received her second standing ovation of the night, this time with a Tony Award in her hand! #TonyAwards” The next one shared, “A standing ovation for joaquina kalukango every single night is not enough.” One person added, “Joaquina Kalukango holy hell I think my TV screen just exploded. How is Radio City still standing after that?”
 
Meanwhile, one tweeted, “Seeing Joaquina Kalukango in Paradise Square was the first time I’ve ever given a standing ovation mid-show. SO WELL DESERVED!!!!!” Another mentioned, “Joaquina Kalukango performance of ‘Let It Burn’ from ‘Paradise Square’ left me speechless and in tears. I think we all need to see #ParadiseSquare.” One individual asserted, “Now I see why #JoaquinaKalukango has been getting raves for her performance in #ParadiseSquare.  She didn't just sing "Let It Burn." She inhabited it. Stunning.”

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Someone stated, “Highlight of this year’s Tony Awards show: Joaquina Kalukango singing “Let It Burn” from the musical Paradise Square! Thrilling!” One thrilled user shared, “Ohmigoodness, that performance of "let it burn" from @ParadiseSquare  was sensational. Joaquina Kalukango brought the house down!” as another concluded, “That performance of “Let It Burn” by Joaquina Kalukango brings back memories of Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the 1982 Tony Awards - two gut-wrenching showstoppers.”

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Joaquina Kalukango accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Paradise Square" onstage at the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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