March 11, 1999 12:00 AM

Last weekend’s Essence Awards ceremony in New York lauding a “New Power Generation” of African Americans was no sweat for comic Chris Rock. He told PEOPLE: “It’s just a nice awards show. You don’t have to be famous to get one. Like I was at the GQ Awards . . . that was nice, but everybody was famous. I’ve gotten quite a few (awards) this year. I’m getting another one from Harper’s Bazaar next month. I should warn my wife.”

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