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Jennifer Hudson storms Image Awards (2009)

Jennifer Hudson

Story by Jack Foley

JENNIFER Hudson was the toast of the 40th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday night (February 12, 2009), scooping three of the top prizes.

The actress and singer, whose mother, brother and nephew were murdered last year, and who won a Grammy on Sunday night for R&B album of the year, was recognised with awards for best new artist, best duo (for I’m His Only Woman with Fantasia) and album (for her self-titled Jennifer Hudson).

In what proved to be a busy ceremony for her, Hudson – who rose to fame on American Idol in 2002 before winning an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls – also performed The Impossible Dream for the President’s Award recipient, Muhammad Ali.

Accepting her prize on stage, Hudson said: “This is where we come from. So, it’s always an honour to come home and feel welcome and to feel the love. I really cherish this and appreciate it.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a prominent US civil rights group that seeks to recognise and reward the achievements of black people in all walks of life, including politics, sport and entertainment.

This year’s event marked its 100th anniversary and also acknowledged the significance of last month’s inauguration of America’s first black President, Barack Obama.

Other award winners

Singer Beyonce Knowles, who opened the show with her song Halo, was named best female artist, while Jamie Foxx was named best male artist.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons was given the Vanguard Award, presented to an individual or group who raises awareness of racial and social issues.

And Natalie Cole was named best jazz artist for her work on Still Unforgettable.

The event, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium, was hosted by actress Halle Berry and actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry.

The complete 40th NAACP Image awards were as follows…

Film

Actor in a motion picture
Will Smith, Seven Pounds

Actress in a motion picture
Rosario Dawson, Seven Pounds

Supporting actor in a motion picture
Columbus Short, Cadillac Records

Supporting actress in a motion picture
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Motion picture
The Secret Life of Bees

Independent motion picture
Slumdog Millionaire

Documentary (theatrical or televison)
The Black List

Foreign motion picture
The Class

Directing in a motion picture (theatrical or television)
Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Secret Life of Bees

Writing in a motion picture (theatrical or television)
Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married

Television

Comedy series
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Actor in a comedy series
LaVan Davis, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Actress in a comedy series
Tracee Ellis Ross,Girlfriends

Supporting actor in a comedy series
Lance Gross, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Supporting actress in a comedy series
Keshia Knight Pulliam, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Drama series
Grey’s Anatomy

Actor in a drama series
Hill Harper, CSI: NY

Actress in a drama series
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy

Supporting actor in a drama series
Taye Diggs, Private Practice

Supporting actress in a drama series
Angela Bassett, ER

Television movie, miniseries or dramatic special
A Raisin in The Sun

Actor in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special
Sean Combs, A Raisin in the Sun

Actress in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special
Phylicia Rashad, A Raisin in the Sun

Actor in a daytime drama series
Bryton McClure, The Young and the Restless

Actress in a daytime drama series
Debbi Morgan, All My Children

Directing in a dramatic series
Ernest Dickerson, Lincoln Heights – The Day Before Tomorrow

Directing in a comedy series
Kevin Sullivan, 30 Rock – MILF Island

Writing in a dramatic series
Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy: Freedom Part 1 & 2

Writing in a comedy series
Erica D. Montolfo, The Game: White Coats and White Lies

News/information – series or special
In Conversation: Michelle Obama Interview

Talk series
The View

Reality series
American Idol 7

Variety – series or special
An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Smokey Robinson

Children’s program
Dora The Explorer

Performance in a youth/children’s program – series or special
Keke Palmer, True Jackson

Music

New artist
Jennifer Hudson

Male artist
Jamie Foxx

Female artist
Beyonce

Duo, group or collaboration
Jennifer Hudson, featuring Fantasia- I’m His Only Woman

Jazz artist
Natalie Cole- Still Unforgettable

Gospel artist – traditional or contemporary
Mary Mary

World music album
Cheryl Keyes – Let Me Take You There

Music video
Yes We Can – Will.i.am

Song
Yes We Can – Will.i.am

Album
Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson