LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Beyonce kicked off the 40th annual NAACP Image Awards with a wind-swept performance of her song "Halo" — and then glided to victory in the outstanding female artist category.

Her "Dreamgirls" co-star Jennifer Hudson, who's set to perform later during the Shrine Auditorium ceremony, picked up the trophy for outstanding new artist.

"This is where we come from," Hudson said accepting the award. "So it's always an honor to come home and feel welcome and to feel the love. I really cherish this and appreciate it."

Some of the winners were awarded before the live ceremony, including "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Chandra Wilson for actress in a drama series and singer-actor Jamie Foxx for male artist. Chris Brown, who's accused in a domestic dispute that reportedly involves pop superstar Rihanna, was one of four men up against Foxx for the outstanding male artist trophy.

Hill Harper from "CSI: NY" and Tracee Ellis Ross from "Girlfriends" also picked up TV acting awards early on during the ceremony Thursday, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and will kick off a yearlong centennial celebration.

Over 30 awards honoring television, film, music and literature are to be handed out in categories such as outstanding reality series, literary work, jazz artist, music video and documentary.


On the Net: