*The nominees of the 42nd NAACP Image Awards were honored at a luncheon recently in Beverly Hills, to the backdrop of some elegant music and plenty champagne flowing. The event, hosted by comedian/actor Affion Crockett, had a blanket of excitement wrapped around us as the nominees came down the red carpet.

“It keeps us relevant,” actress Salli Richardson – a nominee for “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series” for Syfy’s “Eureka” – about the NAACP Image Awards. “We have to support ourselves…unfortunately, we have it. That’s what’s important to me and the other actors, to be acknowledged by our own community.”

That community Richardson speaks on his a population of “colored” people that the NAACP has been an advocate for since 1909. It’s the members of the NAACP that get to vote on the winners in each of the categories.

Other nominees that were present included LaVan Davis for “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series” for “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” who just so happen to be mingling with nominee Marvin Sapp (“Outstanding Gospel Album”/Verity – “Here I Stand”); Tamera and Tia Mowry (“Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Drama”/Lifetime – “Double Wedding”); Julia Pace Mitchell (“Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama”/CBS – “The Young and the Restless”); Ashley Argota (“Outstanding Children’s Program”/Nickelodeon – “True Jackson, VP”); KeKe Palmer (“Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program”/Nickelodeon – “True Jackson, VP”); Dee Dee Bridgewater (“Outstanding Jazz Album,” EmArcy/Decca/DDB Records – “To Billie With Love…”); Ray Charles Robinson, Jr. (“Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Auto-Biography”/Crown – “You Don’t Know Me…”); Myra J (“Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series”/TBS – ”Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns – Meet the Racist”) Millicent Shelton (“Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series”/TNT – “Men of a Certain Age – Do With the Flow”); George Tillman, Jr. (“Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture”/CBS Films – Faster), and Rodney Saulsberry (“Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama”/CBS – “The Bold and the Beautiful”).

“(The NAACP) is a wonderful organization. It recognizes work that may not be recognized by the overall media,” actor Rodney Saulsberry said about the NAACP’s Image Awards. “It’s going to be on Fox, seen all over the world.”

Yes, that’s true and I will be front-and-center on March 4, 2011 when the 42nd NAACP Image Awards airs on Fox at 8 p.m.ET/PT – live from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. The NAACP Image Awards is sponsored by UAW/Chrysler, Walgreens, Wells Fargo, FedEx, Hyundai, Southwest Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bank of America, Ford Motor Company, Pepsi and American-Airlines.

For more information on the 42nd NAACP Image Awards log onto it’s’ website at www.naacpimageawards.net.

ASCAP’s Rhythm & Soul host its 2nd Annual Grammy Brunch for its Nominee Members

*“I’m excited about the nomination,” said ASCAP Grammy Award nominated member Carvin Huggins (Karma Productions) about receiving a “Best R&B Song” Grammy nomination for Jaheim’s “Finding My Way Back.”  “It’s a blessing to be recognized by your peers.”

The peers that voted on the winners are members of the Recording Academy. The brunch seemed to be one big entertainment family get-together with all the ASCAP Grammy Award nominees mingling and enjoying the evening of food, drink and music.

Aside from Huggins, who just recently launched his own label Forever Music, others in attendance included Drumma Boy (Young Jeezy “Loose My Mind”); Jaheim (“Finding My Way Back”/Best R&B Song); Eric Roberson (“Still”/Best Urban/Alternative Performance); Tank, Natasha Bedingfield, Tricky Stewart (“Teenage Dream”/Album of the Year); Melanie Fiona (“Wake Up Everybody”/Best Rap/Song Collaboration); Aaron Sledge (“Aaron Sledge”/Best Gospel Album), and VaShawn Mitchell (“Nobody Greater”/Best Gospel Performance).

“I’m excited,” Gospel singer/songwriter VaShawn Mitchell said about his Grammy Nomination. “To be recognized by your peers!”

Sponsored by Blackberry, Suntrust and Red Bull, the 2nd Annual ASCAP Grammy Brunch was the place to be for any artist in the industry, but unfortunately it was just for its members.  As I left the Brunch I heard the buzz that L.A. Reid, Sylvia Rhone, Ne-Yo, Jermaine Dupri and Kelly Rowland were on their way as well.

ASCAP members who won the Grammy Award included Bruno Mars and Usher.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is home to the top-notch songwriters and composers in America. For more information on ASCAP or its members log onto it’s’ website at www.ASCAP.com.

Affion Crockett and Drumma Boy photos by Eunice Moseley