*Popular comedienne Luenell has been on cloud nine in the past few days after receiving her award for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of comedy from the city of Los Angeles.
The honors were held at Stevie’s Creole Restaurant in the pricey real estate district of Encino (the Beverly Hills of the Valley). There among friends, family (her two sisters, Florine Crudup and Sherry Willis; niece Kendrea Crudup, and brother Chester Batson) and many celebrity friends, Luenell floated on cloud nine delirious with happiness.
Days leading up to the big event, Luenell kept asking friends, “Is this really going to happen?” She was in such disbelief, but when the day came and she rolled up to the trendy eaterie in a limo stretch courtesy of Norm Lewis Limousines, with photogs stationed in-waiting positioned for the comic dynamo’s arrival; and light bulbs going off like the fourth of July, it was all very exciting pinch me real.
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Inside many celebrities including her co-star from Borat, Ken Davitian, pals Tiffany Pollard aka New York, comedienne Laura Hayes, comedian Ricky Del Rosario, comedy vet Garrett Morris, Detroit’s Judge Craig Strong and fitness trainer Sam Bell, were placed at four banquet tables specially reserved for Luenell. They too were anxiously awaiting her arrival.
Later in the evening Luenell got a big surprise when director Ernest Dickerson who directed her in the film Never Die Alone with DMX, showed up. Also up in the house, closest bff Constance Tillotson who arrived with Lu, Luenell’s long time manager William Hanford Lee Jr., great friend and animator DeMarco Allen plus many of Luenell’s gurl bffs, fans and supporters who would not miss this for the world.
The house was packed to the rafters. The amazing part was that in spite of heavy non-stop rain that evening, it did not deter Luenell’s die-hard friends from attending; some driving to LA from as far as Oakland! This type of devotion says a lot about Luenell’s character and her loyalty to her friends.
In Luenell’s lifetime she has seen everything, experiencing a gamut of emotions, but on stage accepting her award presented by club promoter/radio exec. /producer Marc Gaspard with words from her dear, dear friend Garrett Morris, she was almost speechless. Notice, I said “almost.”
Luenell was beaming with joy and later in the evening when R&B/gospel singer Abraham McDonald (discovered by Oprah Winfrey) directed his onstage performance to Luenell, she was euphoric (see her float Patty LaBelle style/photo insert).
Photogs in the house were anxious to capture every moment and Luenell hardly had a chance to sit down and eat her meal. It was all very surreal. Luenell describes it as being caught up in a “whirlwind” (of joy).
What oh, what a night! Days later she is still on cloud nine.
Coverage: Eugenia Wright is a former actress turned columnist/publicist. You may write to her at [email protected]
Photos: Vinni Ratcliff
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