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Foxx, Keys, Carey Claim Image Awards

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Last year Jamie Foxx claimed his Oscar for Ray, in which he played song legend Ray Charles. On Saturday, at the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Foxx proved himself a musician in his own right – picking up the prize for best male musical artist, for his new album Unpredictable.

“It’s good to be surrounded by black folks,” Foxx said. “Black folks are music.” Afterwards, he said music is “what I always wanted.”

The Image awards – which will be broadcast March 3 on FOX – honor African American artists in movies, TV, music and literature.

The Bernie Mac Show took top honors in three categories. Mac was picked as comedy series best actor, while costar Camille Winbush took home best supporting actress and director Millicent Shelton received the top TV directing nod.

“America, I heard your prayers, and you wanted me here,” said Mac, reverting to his standup persona. “The Mac Man cometh, and I’m bringing hell with me.”

He was followed by Chris Rock, whose life-story-based sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris won best TV series. “I want to thank all the white kids who beat (me),” said Rock, joking with the crowd. “I’m rich!”

In the movie division, among the winners was Samuel L. Jackson as best actor, for Coach Carter. Crash, about racial tensions in Los Angeles and in the running as Best Picture at the Oscars, took the top movie award, with costar Terrence Howard winning as best supporting actor. He also was named best actor in a TV movie or miniseries, for Lackawanna Blues.

Mariah Carey kept her comeback streak going. Her Emancipation of Mimi won best album, while Alicia Keys took home three awards: top female musical artist, top song and video awards for “Unbreakable.”