NAACP Image Awards: Jennifer Hudson, Issa Rae, Will Smith win big

Check out the list of big winners from the 2022 NAACP Image Awards.

ByJamia Pugh via logo
February 28, 2022, 10:53 AM

Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson took home the biggest award of the night: entertainer of the year, at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, airing Saturday on BET.

The "American Idol" alumna accepted the award in person and thanked the NAACP for recognizing her work. The "Respect" star also nabbed the award for outstanding actress in a motion picture.

“I did not see this coming by any means, but Lord knows I’m grateful,” she said in her acceptance speech.

Joining her in the winner’s circle for top awards of the night was actor, producer and writer Issa Rae, who won outstanding actress in a comedy series for "Insecure." The show, which was created by Rae, took home the award for outstanding comedy series.

Will Smith accepted the outstanding actor award for his role as Richard Williams in the biographical drama, "King Richard." The film, which is based on the life story of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, is also a six-time Oscar nominee.

Host Anthony Anderson, who nabbed his eighth win for the show "black-ish," introduced Mary J. Blige who serenaded the virtual audience in a mid-show performance.

NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson presented the President’s Award, to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who said they were “humbled to be here” after accepting the award on stage.

The Chairman’s Award went to actor Samuel L. Jackson, while The New York Times’ award-winning investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones accepted the Social Justice Impact Award.

The outstanding motion picture award was won by the Black Western film, "The Harder They Fall."

Here are the night’s big winners:

Outstanding Actor in Drama Series

Sterling K Brown, "This Is Us"

Outstanding Actress in Drama Series

Angela Bassett, "9-1-1"

Chairman’s Award

Samuel L. Jackson

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Issa Rae, "Insecure"

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"

Social Justice Impact Award

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Outstanding Comedy Series


President’s Award

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Jennifer Hudson, "Respect"

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Will Smith, "King Richard"

Outstanding Motion Picture

"The Harder They Fall"

Entertainer of the Year

Jennifer Hudson

For a full list of winners, visit