The cast of "Soul Food" and production staff accept NAACP Image Award. All photos by Monica Morgan (c)
Singer Luther Vandross dominated the 2004 NAACP Image Awards, with his potential R&B ballad-singing successor Ruben Studdard of American Idol fame snagging a newcomers award and hip hop group Outkast adding honors from the country’s oldest civil rights organization to its collection. The hit ShowTime series "Soul Food," a spin off from a popular movie about a loving and enduring Black family, was selected as the top drama series.
The NAACP Image Awards program was held at the Universal Amphitheatre March 6 and was scheduled for broadcast March 11 on the Fox Network.
The 35th NAACP Image Awards ran into controversy earlier this year over the nomination of singer R. Kelly for an award. Kelly is facing child pornography and sex charges in Chicago for an alleged tryst with a minor that was captured on videotape. NAACP President Kweisi Mfume defused the controversy by changing the rules for nominations and stressing that the NAACP honors were intended to recognize “positive” images for Black Americans. Outkast once ran into controversy and a lawsuit over a song that carried the name of civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks. A U.S. District Court eventually dismissed the lawsuit by Mrs. Parks over use of her name and other issues.
Vandross, who is still recovering from a stroke, captured awards for best male artist, music video, song and album titled "Dance With My Father." The NAACP honors complement four Grammys won by Vandross in February.
In addition to the entertainment and writing awards, special awards were given to Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Dave Matthews Band. Shoshanna Johnson, the Black female soldier captured during the Iraq War was a special guest.
“Bishop Thomas D. Jakes has been called the ‘Shepard to the shattered,’ as he reaches out to the poor and the rich, the young and old; those behind bars, those in the classroom, people in the inner-city and people in the suburbs," said Mfume, who presented the Dallas-based religious leader with the President’s Award. Ray Charles was also inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame and Toni Morrison’s “Love” was chosen as best fiction literary work.
NAACP members voted on 1,146 entries received in motion picture, television, literature and recording categories. Each year a special committee of 150 industry and 150 NAACP leaders from across the country cast closed ballots for five nominees in each of 35 areas.
The national readership of the NAACP's "Crisis" magazine, and the leadership of the NAACP's 2,000 branches make the final vote on the winners. The accounting firm of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates, P.C. tabulates the nominations and final ballots.
The complete list of NAACP Image Award winners: Music Ruben Studdard
Outstanding new artist: Ruben Studdard, "Soulful," J Records/BMG.
Outstanding male artist: Luther Vandross), J Records/BMG.
Outstanding female artist: Alicia Keys, J Records/BMG.
Outstanding duo or group: OutKast, Arista.
Outstanding jazz artist: Ramsey Lewis, "Simple Pleasures," Narada Jazz/EMI.
Outstanding gospel artist, traditional or contemporary: Donnie McClurkin, "Donnie McClurkin ... Again," Verity Records.
Outstanding music video: Luther Vandross, "Dance With My Father," directed by Diane Martel.
Outstanding song: Luther Vandross, "Dance With My Father," J Records/BMG.
Outstanding album: Luther Vandross, "Dance With My Father, J Records/BMG.
Television Nia Long
Outstanding actress in a drama series: Nia Long, "Third Watch," NBC.
Outstanding drama series: "Soul Food," Showtime.
Outstanding comedy series: "The Bernie Mac Show," Fox.
Outstanding actor in a comedy series: Bernie Mac, "The Bernie Mac Show."
Outstanding actress in a comedy series: Mo'Nique, "The Parkers," UPN.
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Dorien Wilson, "The Parkers."
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Camille Winbush, "The Bernie Mac Show."
Outstanding actor in a drama series: Steve Harris, "The Practice," ABC.
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Mekhi Phifer, "ER," NBC.
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series: Loretta Devine, "Boston Public," Fox.
Outstanding TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special: "D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear."
Outstanding actor in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Charles S. Dutton, "D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear."
Outstanding actress in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Whoopi Goldberg, "Good Fences," Showtime.
Outstanding actor in a daytime drama series: Kristoff St. John, "The Young and the Restless," CBS.
Outstanding actress in a daytime drama series: Victoria Rowell, "The Young and the Restless," CBS.
Outstanding TV news, talk or information, series or special: "Judge Mathis," syndicated.
Outstanding variety series or special: "2003 Essence Awards," Fox.
Outstanding Performance in a Youth Children's Program: Raven, "That's So Raven," Disney Channel. Raven Symone
Outstanding motion picture: "The Fighting Temptations," produced by MTV/Paramount.
Outstanding actor in a motion picture: Cuba Gooding Jr., "Radio," produced by Sony/Columbia.
Outstanding actress in a motion picture: Queen Latifah, `Bringing Down the House," Buena Vista Pictures.
Outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture: Morgan Freeman, "Bruce Almighty," Universal.
Outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture: Alfre Woodard, "Radio." Singer Beyonce, who starred in "The Fighting Temptations," at award ceremony.
Outstanding literary work, fiction: "Love," by Toni Morrison, Knopf.
Outstanding literary work, nonfiction: "Why I Love Black Women," Michael Eric Dyson, Basic Civitas Books.
Outstanding literary work, children's: "My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up With the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," by Christine King Farris, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Shoshanna Johnson, Iraq War veteran, was an NAACP special guest.
Bishop T.D. Jakes and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. (All photos are copyrighted by Monica Morgan and reproduction is prohibited.)
Tracee Ellis Ross (UPN "Girlfriends"), left, and Flex Alexander (UPN "One on One") prepare to take off in the new 2004 performance pickup truck, the Chevrolet SSR during a Celebrity Ride & Drive Brunch at an exclusive "Stars and GM Cars" event March 6 at Universal Studios Hollywood Sound Stage 6. Ross and Alexander hosted the event. Looking on are GM's Edward T. Welburn, GM North America Vice President of The Design Center, Kevin Williams, VP Quality GM North America and Roderick D. Gillum, GM Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Diversity. "Stars and GM Cars" paired personalities from music, television, sports and film with the hottest models from General Motors.
The celebrity event provided the media, celebrities and community leaders the opportunity to test GM's latest vehicles, while celebrating this year's Image Awards nominees with fun, food and live entertainment.