Hip hop star will.i.am, whose Internet videos for US presidential hopeful Barack Obama have attracted millions of hits, is one of the big winners in this year’s Webby Awards, organizers said on Tuesday.
Will.i.am, frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, joined satirical comedian Stephen Colbert and French director Michel Gondry among the top winners being recognized for online excellence with the so-called “Oscars of the Internet.”
The Webbys, now in their 12th year, are considered the leading international awards for Web sites, interactive advertising and online video.
Colbert, host of the cable comedy/talk show The Colbert Report, picked up the Webby Person of the Year award for “the innovative way he has used the Internet … to make him the top search result for ‘greatest living American,’” the organizers said.
The comedian’s presidential campaign on the social networking Web site Facebook attracted more than 78 members per minute in its first week, they said.
Gondry, meanwhile, was recognized for his film Be Kind Rewind, which the organizers said inspired filmmakers to follow his lead in recreating scenes from their favorite films and sharing them online.
The judges singled out will.i.am out for Artist of the Year in recognition of his “Yes We Can” video in support of Democratic hopeful Obama, viewed more than 17 million times since it came out in February.
The New York Times Web site picked up eight awards for its online and mobile news services as well as its online film service, while The Onion picked up seven for its online film and podcasts.