Music met politics Wednesday night at the annual Grammys on the Hill awards, which honored Jennifer Hudson with the Recording Artist Coalition Award for her philanthropic and artistic achievements.
Dozens of musical and political stars mingled at a VIP cocktail reception at The Hamilton venue in downtown Washington before the awards dinner. Guests included producer Clive Davis, singer Yolanda Adams and songwriter Kara DioGuardi.
Speaking to HOH, Hudson said the award was “extra special” to her.
“Because it’s not just for the arts, but because it’s just like me being me, being the person that I am and trying to make a difference in the world,” she said.
Librarian of Congress James Billington was also there to be honored for the work the library has done to preserve historic audio recordings.
Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., their parties’ respective whips, were among a dozen members of Congress on hand to show support for the protection of intellectual property.
Hoyer turned to the Ten Commandments to illustrate what he said should be the guiding principle when it comes to protecting musical property.
“Thou shalt not steal,” he said. “There’s no caveat.”
Proceeds from Grammys on the Hill go to the Grammy Signature Schools Program, which works to keep music programs alive in schools.
Hudson told HOH how important school music programs were to her as a child.
“I would not be here if it was not for music programs in school growing up — that’s what made me a dreamer,” she said.
“I would hate to see that being taken away from kids and schools.”
After receiving her award, Hudson wowed the crowd with powerful performances of “Hallelujah” and “One Night Only.”
As the evening drew to a close, more than a dozen members of Congress joined singers and songwriters on stage for an unrehearsed but rather lively rendition of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”