ABC comedy wins best directing, performance

“Ugly Betty” and its star, America Ferrera, took top honors at the 2008 Alma Awards, which recognize achievements by Hispanic artists.

The ABC comedy series won awards for directing and best performance by a Latino-led ensemble cast. Ferrera, 24, was named Chevy Entertainer of the Year for her on-screen work as Betty Suarez in “Ugly Betty” and her off-screen efforts to encourage young people to get involved in the political process.

Shakira was also recognized for her offstage efforts, receiving the Humanitarian Award for her work in early childhood education.

A host of artists, including BeBe Winans, Wynonna Judd and Lucero, performed a tribute to Linda Ronstadt, who received the Trailblazer Award for her contributions to American music.

The Black Eyed Peas, the Cheetah Girls, Sergio Mendes and Cheech and Chong also performed at the ceremony, hosted by Eva Longoria Parker at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Sunday.

Other acting-award winners included Charlie Sheen, Edward James Olmos, Roselyn Sanchez and Judy Reyes. Designer Narciso Rodriguez was honored for special achievement in fashion.

The National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic advocacy organization, created the ALMA Awards in 1995 to honor Hispanic performers and promote positive images of Hispanics in entertainment. ALMA stands for American Latino Media Arts and also means “soul” in Spanish.

The ceremony will be televised Sept. 12 on ABC.

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