Boseman -- who died on Friday following a four-year battle with colon cancer -- was best known for his role as King T'Challa in 2018's Black Panther, but his memorable performances also included his roles as Jackie Robinson in 2013's 42,as James Brown in 2014's Get on Up and as Thurgood Marshall in 2017's Marshall.
Host Keke Palmer made a statement as the awards show kicked off, telling viewers, "We have to take a moment 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."
"We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many," Palmer added. "He is a true hero, not just onscreen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever."
MTV also honored Boseman with a tribute video reliving his 2018 MTV Movie Awards win for Best Hero, which the Black Panther star immediately turned over to the Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw Jr.
The world needs more superheroes, and we all deserve to see ourselves in them. Chadwick Boseman helped make that happen. Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/d05kkkQR6b
In a statement on Friday, Boseman's family revealed that the actor's more recent roles "all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy." Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it over the last four years as it progressed to stage 4.
"He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side," the statement read. "The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."
"He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career," said Denzel Washington, who helped pay for Boseman's acting program years before he made a name for himself in Hollywood. "God bless Chadwick Boseman."