Zuri Hall might just be our favorite entertainment reporter. The American television personality has graced the screens of E! News and moved on to take the role of NBC’s correspondent for Access Hollywood. She’s also a reporter for American Ninja Warrior. To top it all off, she’s won an Emmy Award.
Hall didn’t start out her career under the Hollywood lights. Instead, she worked her way up from her childhood in Toledo, Ohio, according to PAPER, and made it to the broadcasting screen, where she covered red carpets and rubbed shoulders with all the A-listers.
When she wrapped her first award season in 2017 with E! News, Hall described the experience to IndyStar: “It was so fun to be walking the same red carpet [as] Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio. It was so surreal to be a part of those moments and celebrate those artists on their biggest night. It was like playing dress up, you get to feel like a princess for a day with the entire world watching.”
The entire world was watching and continues to follow Hall, something she’s well aware of. When PAPER asked her what she would tell “little Zuri from Toledo,” Hall responded in the most touching way: “It’s all going to work out! So, don’t stress so much about the day-to-day of ‘how’ you’re going to get there. Just trust that you will and enjoy the ride.”
What perfect advice! So in this spirit of celebration, here’s everything you need to know about the amazing Zuri Hall.
Zuri Hall had the goal of 'going national' by 25
Zuri Hall was in college when she got inspiration. She explained this to Essence in a 2016 interview. “I went to Ohio State University and majored in strategic communications,” Hall explained. “A month from graduation I had no idea what I was going to do. I stumbled across an online posting searching for the next face of a local television station. I jumped in my hooptie and drove from Columbus [Ohio] to Indianapolis for the audition and ended up getting the job!” Hall explained that this job ultimately led her to New York City for a role with Fuse and MTV and later at E! News in Los Angeles.
Hall shared in a 2016 interview with IndyStar that she had the goal of ‘going national’ by the age of 25. This goal was what motivated her to join Fuse, a small cable network in New York. They were looking for a co-host to cover a live music countdown show and this would help her reach her dream. “I jumped at that opportunity,” Hall said to the outlet.
This was obviously the right choice because it led to huge opportunities. Hall has covered major events like the Grammys, the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes, and even the Oscars, according to IndyStar. But Hall also has a strong presence on social media that’s booming.
Zuri Hall's massive social media clout
Zuri Hall has a major presence online. She runs her YouTube channel, Hey Zuri Hall, with 115,000 subscribers. She also has a hilarious podcast called Hot Happy Mess and isn’t shy to dig deep. Hall also has a website that encompasses her lifestyle brand, AlphaBabe.
Hall explained this brand to PAPER in an interview. “The concept of AlphaBabe is something I came up… at a time when I didn’t see strong, ‘alpha’ women being celebrated and encouraged to be strong and unapologetic as much [as] I thought we should be.” Hall explained that she wanted to support unapologetic ambition while still feeling comfortable being smart and sexy. Hall called it “a balance of substance and style.”
Hall actually described her social media presence while praising one of her idols, Kerry Washington. “I feel like she’s so intelligent, she’s so articulate, and she really is good at walking the fine line of being an artist and keeping her private life separate,” Hall told IndyStar. “I’ve made a decision to be something quite opposite from that. I’m very candid and open with YouTube and social media, but I do appreciate and admire how she found that balance.”
Balance indeed. Hall has accomplished this beautifully, with a candid presence online but with the talent to win an Emmy. Here’s that story.
Zuri Hall's shining moment
While Zuri Hall was already a success, it never hurts to win an accolade for all that hard work. Hall won a Regional Emmy Award in 2011 for Outstanding Host and Talent, according to the National Academy of Television. Then in 2017, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Entertainment News Program for her work on E! News, according to her NBC bio.
Hall was asked about her Emmy by PAPER, specifically which celebs she name-dropped in her acceptance speech. “Well when I won for ‘Outstanding Talent – Host,’ it was quite a few years ago before I really knew any A-list celebrities, let alone had any I was close enough to thank in an acceptance speech!” Hall explained, laughing.
“But it’s always been my family and closest friends, who have been the real stars and are the driving forces in my life,” Hall went on. “I will add that Oprah is the ultimate inspiration — and since having the honor of meeting and interviewing her quite a few times, I can gladly say she has more than lived up to all the things about her that I admired.” Hall is a huge Oprah fan, so much so that she credits her love life to the television magnate.
Oprah helped Zuri Hall find love
Zuri Hall is absolutely inspired by Oprah. In fact, when asked in an interview by IndyStar who her role model was, Hall responded: “Oprah Winfrey is so cliché to say, but I only say it as a young black woman in America.” Hall went on: “It was exciting for me to always grow up with her on my TV. My mother had her on all the time so watching her presence constantly on television. I felt like it made total sense that I should be on screen just like anyone else.”
This admiration paid off in a big way because Oprah helped Hall find love. In a video she shared on Instagram, Hall captured the advice Oprah had previously given her when Hall found herself newly single. “It’s the best time when you get to make yourself the lover, friend, the supporter, that you would want,” Oprah told Hall. “You need to go through that… I’m dating, drop it like it’s hot [phase] all that. And then you need a period where you just come down to yourself. And then when you’re ready he will show up.”
After that advice, Hall found love and updated Oprah, saying: “He showed up, and he’s amazing, and I just love you because you were guiding me through this for a year and a half.” What did Oprah say in response? “Look at what we did together!” So who is this amazing guy? (If Oprah had a hand in the inspiration, he’s gonna be good.)
Zuri Hall's hilarious dating story
Following Oprah’s advice to take the time to be a lover to herself, Zuri Hall found love. She’s dating Sean Culkin, an NFL player for the Los Angeles Chargers, according to Oprah Mag.
Culkin is a regular sight on Hall’s Instagram, and the duo frequently share the cutest clips of themselves walking, cuddling, and just inspiring all of us to take Oprah’s advice on, well, everything.
Hall has also chronicled their relationship on her YouTube channel, particularly through one adorable video called “How We Met.” If you need a smile, watch it! It’s hard to tell who’s sillier or more in love. Hall explained that she was working for E! News at the time and the producers were trying a new thing of matchmaking. Since Hall was single, they had her go on a date with Culkin, who was deemed an eligible bachelor. The twist was that Hall had an earpiece in and had to say whatever the producers said. While the whole thing was a prank, it ended in love. Is there a dating story anywhere that started with such a hilarious premise?
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