Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will be among 4 esteemed honorees next March at Essences third annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.
The event recognizes women of color whove made strong impacts in the entertainment industry.
Next year, the award luncheon will also commemorate Essences 40th anniversary. Latifah is being honored with the Power Award for her numerous milestones in music, film, and TV.
The New Jersey native was the first solo female emcee to go gold with 1993s Black Reign.
That album also earned her a Grammy for the female empowerment anthem “U.N.I.T.Y.” In film, shes received acclaim for her diverse roles in Set It Off, Bringing Down the House, The Secret Life of Bees, and her Oscar-nominated turn in Chicago.
On the small screen, Latifah executive produced and starred in HBOs Life Support, winning a Golden Globe and SAG Award.
Mary J. Blige will take home the Songstress of the Year Award.
The veteran singer performed Lean On Me in January at President Obamas Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
Her latest single, The One, featured Drake and was released on July 21. The new album Stronger with Each Tear is due out on December 21.
To date, Mary J. has had every one of her albums go multiplatinum or platinum since her 1992 debut Whats the 411?.
In addition to Latifah and Blige, rising actresses Zoe Saldana (Star to Watch) and Gabourey Sidibe (Best Breakthrough Performance) will receive recognition.
“Our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is taking on special meaning in 2010 as we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Essence magazine by paying homage to phenomenal women throughout the year,” explained Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray. “We are proud to carry the Essence legacy into the future by honoring the accomplishments of such brilliant performers as Latifah, Zoe, Mary J., and Gabourey, whose incredible talent and sheer grit are serving to change the face of Hollywood.”
The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon takes place Oscar Award week on March 4, 2010 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.