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chaka khan jennifer hudson essence music festivaMcDonalds hosted its 9th Annual 365 Awards Ceremony at New Orleans’ Mahalia Theater July 6th. Created to honor Black Americans who’ve positively impacted their communities, the event featured a who’s who of politicians, actors, musicians, athletes and actors, such as recording legend Chaka Khan, noted for her foundation educating women and children; Tony Hansberry, the teenage medical prodigy whose work has helped reduce recovery time from hysterectomies; and power couple Tina and Harold Lewis, who own a chain of McDonald’s franchises and have dedicated their lives to community service.

“I commend McDonalds’s for their ongoing efforts to make community service a priority,” said Khan, who sang her greatest hits at the night’s end. “Helping others and giving back are critical components to making our community stronger.” The 365 Awards also featured a litany of guests, including R&B singer Tank, rapper/entertainer Doug E. Fresh, and Grammy-nominated singer Melanie Fiona, who shared their musical gifts to pay homage to the recipients.

The “365” concept behind the show is to honor African-American extrodinares beyond the 28 days of Black History Month each February.

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