Jennifer Hudson was honored with a special Grammy Award Wednesday night at the Recording Academy’s Grammys on the Hill ceremony in Washington.
The group honored Hudson with a Recording Artist Coalition Award for her charity work. Hudson said this award stands apart from all of her others, including her Oscar.
“It makes it the most prestigious award to be acknowledged for trying to make a difference,” she told The Associated Press. “It’s OK to be a celebrity, but the things that matter are when you can change someone’s life or help someone.”
The Recording Academy presented its Grammys on the Hill Award to the Library of Congress for its work over the past decade to preserve historic audio recordings. York Community High School near Chicago was awarded for its outstanding music program.
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said hundreds of musicians are visiting Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge lawmakers to protect copyrights for the creators of music and ensure they get paid for their work in the digital age.
California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority whip, joined Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer to show support Wednesday night. The guiding premise for intellectual property protections, Hoyer said, is “thou shalt not steal.”
The Grammys on the Hill Awards are meant to connect the music industry with the world of policy and politics in Washington.
After accepting her award, Hudson performed “Hallelujah” and applauded efforts in Washington to keep music education alive in schools. She said that made all the difference for her, long before “American Idol” and her Oscar and Grammy Award.
“I didn’t want to go to any class but music, and so because of music, I had perfect attendance every year,” she told the crowd.
Producer Clive Davis, who presented the award to Hudson, said he wanted people to know about her heart and her talent. Hudson is still a new artist, and her upcoming third studio album will be special, Davis said.
“I think it’s going to break her through worldwide,” he said.