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''Ray'' rules NAACP Image Awards

”Ray” rules NAACP Image Awards — The movie earned four prizes, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Jamie Foxx

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Before Saturday night’s NAACP Image Awards, Jamie Foxx had gone almost three weeks without giving an acceptance speech for his performance in Ray. But at the civil rights organization’s annual entertainment awards ceremony, Foxx picked up yet another best actor prize. ”This has been an absolute wonderful ride,” said Foxx, receiving the trophy from African-American screen icons Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll. His was one of four prizes for the Ray Charles biopic, including best picture, best actress (Kerry Washington), and best supporting actress (Regina King).

In a new category, the NAACP voters recognized an outstanding independent or foreign film; this year, they picked Woman Thou Art Loosed, based on Bishop T.D. Jakes’ novel, which also took home the prize for best fiction book. Morgan Freeman didn’t attend, but he won yet another best supporting actor prize for Million Dollar Baby.

In the music categories, Alicia Keys won two awards, best song and best music video, for ”If I Ain’t Got You.” Usher won Outstanding Male Artist, and American Idol winner Fantasia took home Outstanding Female Artist. Outstanding New Artist was Kanye West, and Prince won the Vanguard Award, as well as Outstanding Album for Musicology.

Among TV prizewinners, Taye Diggs won Outstanding Dramatic Actor for Kevin Hill, while Nia Long won the dramatic actress prize for Third Watch. Outstanding comedy actor and actress were Bernie Mac, for his self-titled sitcom, and Mo’Nique for The Parkers. Oprah Winfrey was inducted into the NAACP hall of fame.

The ceremony, now in its 36th year, was held for the first time at Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, former home of the Oscars. Hosted by Chris Tucker, it was taped for broadcast on Fox on March 25.