Entertainment Icon Jennifer Hudson and Orville Peck to be Honored at 35th GLAAD Media Awards in New York On May 11th Hosted by Ross Mathews

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Jennifer Hudson
will receive GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award for championing allyship and promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues

Orville Peck will receive GLAAD’s Vito Russo Award elevating LGBTQ visibility in Country Music

New York, NY – Tuesday, April, 23, 2024 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress, and Tony and Emmy Award-winning producer, and host of the Emmy-Nominated “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” Jennifer Hudson will receive GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award and groundbreaking country artist Orville Peck will receive the Vito Russo Award at the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, which will be hosted by Emmy-winning television host and producer, Ross Mathews.

GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Marren Morris, Judith Light, Ava DuVernay, Patti LaBelle, Debra Messing, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Barbara Walters Diane Sawyer and more.

“A multi-hyphenate talent who uses her platform and influence across media to support and uplift LGBTQ people, Jennifer Hudson’s allyship is thoughtful, loud, and powerful,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Most recently, she champions our community on her talk show by regularly shining a bright light on inspiring LGBTQ  changemakers for audiences everywhere.”

This year “The Jennifer Hudson Show” is nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode for the episode ““Jennifer Hudson Surprises HIV Activist with $10,000.”

The Vito Russo Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance. The Award is named after Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Wilson Cruz, Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Andy Cohen, RuPaul, Cynthia Nixon, Samira Wiley, and George Takei, among others.

“Orville Peck has paved a new frontier for artists in a genre historically exclusionary of queer voices. By boldly navigating country music as an out gay man and collaborating with legends like Willie Nelson and Lady Gaga, Peck has cemented himself in the industry and showed our community that they belong in all spaces,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Since its inception in 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have grown to be the most visible annual LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.

About Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is a Two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress, and Tony and Emmy Award-winning producer, and she is also a dedicated and passionate ally to the LGBTQ community.

After rising to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season “American Idol,” Jennifer Hudson quickly gained the support and adoration of many LGBTQ fans, and since she has been an outspoken ally and champion for inclusion for the LGBTQ community, namely being a staunch supporter of marriage equality in 2014.  In her 2015 music video to her single, “I Still Love You,” Hudson proudly told the story of a father’s last-minute decision to attend the wedding of his gay son.

Hudson is also the youngest female EGOT winner in history, achieving EGOT status following the Tony Award-win for Best Musical for “A Strange Loop,” of which she served as a producer. The Broadway production which centered Black queer characters and storylines, broke the mold for queer visibility and representation on-stage and introduced queer culture to new audiences.

In 2016, Hudson was also part of the cast that won the Tony Award for Best Musical Theater Album for “The Color Purple,” playing as Shug Avery in the Broadway revival.

Hudson debuted her one-hour nationally syndicated talk show, “The Jennifer Hudson Show” in 2022 which has made it a priority to feature powerful LGBTQ voices and issues in new, thought-provoking ways, bringing fun, uplifting, and empowering conversations around LGBTQ experiences to the forefront of mainstream audiences.

One such episode, in 2023, featured a $10,000 surprise for HIV activists to continue the life-saving work in their community to eliminate barriers for Black, queer Texans. Highlighting experiences like those who are living with HIV and normalizing conversation around HIV treatment, care and innovation, that Undetectable = Unstransmittable, pays priceless dividends in the effort to overcome stigma around HIV and combat misinformation around sexual health.

About Orville Peck

Out gay groundbreaking country artist  Orville Peck stampeded into the Country music scene in 2019 with his debut album, “Pony,” upending industry norms and what it means to be an LGBTQ artist in Country music.

With his collaborations and covers, Peck has inspired cross-cultural allyship and conversation. In 2020, he released a duet with Shania Twain called “Legends Never Die,” and later teamed with Trixie Mattel for a rendition of the Johnny Cash/June Carter classic “Jackson.” He also put his own country-tinged spin on Lady Gaga’s 2011 hit “Born This Way,” and released a series of followup EPs leading up to this year’s full-length album Bronco.

In 2023, Peck took his talents to television, debuting Apple TV+’s new singing competition, “My Kind of Country.” Produced by Hollywood legends and LGBTQ allies Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves, Peck was one of the three scouts – along with Jimmie Allen and Mickey Guyton – who mentor up-and-coming country artists on the show.

In a profile by Variety, Peck recalls performing in more conservative-leaning states: “I go in with an open heart and open mind. A lot of times the people in the audience who I’m nervous aren’t going to accept me are dancing and singing along by the end of the show. I think the important thing that’s happening in country music at the moment is there’s so many more queer people and people that aren’t just white straight men making country music.”

Peck recently joined forces with the legendary Willie Nelson for a cover of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other,” his first release since signing with Warner Records. The track is accompanied by a striking video directed by Ben Prince, which boasts an appearance from Nelson himself.

Peck has always come at country music from a wholly unique perspective, and now, he puts his own spin on a long-celebrated LGBTQ+ country anthem. Recorded by Ned Sublette in 1981, the song was subsequently tackled by Nelson in 2006, pushing the underground track to the mainstream. After Nelson asked Peck to record this version of the song together, the idea for the Stampede duets project came to life. Peck went on to perform the song at the icon’s 90th birthday show at the Hollywood Bowl last year.

A wholly original storyteller, the masked star’s music has always pushed boundaries and defied expectations.

About Ross Mathews

Ross Mathews serves as Co-Anchor and Producer on the nationally syndicated daytime talk show “The Drew Barrymore Show” (currently in it’s 4th season) as well as a judge and producer on MTV’s critically acclaimed, award-winning series “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Just this year Mathews won the Emmy Award for producing Drag Race, as well as the Producers Guild of America Award and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Competition Show.

Mathews began his television career in 2001 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Additionally, he is known for his work on E!’s Chelsea Lately, E!’s live red carpet coverage, E!’s Hello Ross, Hollywood Today Live and more.  He has also written two best-selling books (“Man Up” and “Name Drop”) and hosts a weekly podcast, “Hello Rossipes”.

Mathews lives in New York and Palm Springs, CA with his husband Dr. Wellinthon Garcìa-Mathews and their chihuahua Audrey.

Ross Mathews serves as Co-Anchor of Drew’s News and Producer on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” the nationally syndicated daytime show hosted by Drew Barrymore.

About the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

GLAAD, announced recipients for 16 of this year’s 33 categories for the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Oprah Winfrey received the Vanguard Award, introduced by long-time friends, iconic Chicago performer Chilli Pepper and celebrity host Paolo Presta. Niecy Nash-Betts received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented by Sharon Stone. The Los Angeles ceremony for the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards was hosted by Wayne Brady, and featured special performances from Chlöe and Kate Hudson

The 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York is presented by Gilead Sciences and Hyundai Motor America, with Official Sponsors Delta Air Lines, Ketel One Family Made Vodka, and Sony Music Group.

As the official streaming partner, a special presentation of the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles is streaming now on Hulu.

Nominees for the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards reflect work published, released, or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2023. This year, GLAAD announced 310 nominees across 33 categories. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies, which fund GLAAD’s work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance and visibility in media, was held this year in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 14, 2024 and in New York City on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis serves as Executive Producer of the 35th GLAAD Media Awards, alongside GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro and Anthony Allen Ramos. GLAAD’s Tony Morrison will serve as Supervising Producer and Jose Useche will serve as Producer. The ceremonies will be produced in partnership with STAMP Event Co.

For more information on how to become a corporate sponsor, please contact GLAAD’s Strategic Partnerships team at [email protected].

To apply for credentials to cover the GLAAD Media Awards New York, please click HERE

On socials please follow @GLAAD and #glaadawards

PRESS CONTACT:

Tony Morrison, GLAAD Senior Director of Communications
[email protected]

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