She may have missed out on a chance to nab an Oscar, but at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, Jennifer Hudson nabbed two trophies for Entertainer of the Year and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her noteworthy portrayal of the iconic Aretha Franklin in the movie “Respect.” Dedicating the accolade to the family of Franklin, she thanked fellow actress Halle Berry for inspiring her.
The annual event, which was forced to go virtual last year, celebrated the achievements of several actors following a week-long virtual experience with events.
“This story hit me deeply,” shared Will Smith, who won the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for movie “King Richard,” a film which follows the life of Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. “Richard Williams was a man with a dream for his family and a dream considered insane by most people. He decided he was going to have the two best tennis players on earth and grow them out of Compton. For me to have this opportunity to tell this story is one of the greatest honors of my entire career.”
“The Harder They Fall” won Outstanding Motion Picture, Angela Bassett took home the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for “9-1-1,” Sterling K. Brown received the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for “This is Us,” and Anthony Anderson, who also hosted the show, received the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series once again for “black-ish”.
During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented the President’s Award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke, and Duchess of Sussex. Samuel L. Jackson was recognized with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the ceremony which also featured a performance by Mary J. Blige. Attendees included Jimmy Jean-Louis, Amber Stevens West, Daniel Kaluuya, Kerry Washington, Lil Nas X, LL Cool J, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Strahan, Morgan Freeman, Regina King, Paula Patton, Tiffany Haddish, and Zendaya.
An encore presentation of the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” will air Monday, February 28 on BET. Internationally, the show will air on BET UK on My5 and Sky On Demand on Monday, February 28, BET France on March 2 at 8:45 pm CEST, and MTV Brazil on Thursday, March 3.
By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos by Earl Gibson III