Eddie Murphy and former "American Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson won Golden Globes tonight (Jan. 15) for supporting roles in the musical "Dreamgirls," giving a lift to their Academy Awards prospects. The film was also named best musical or comedy.

Murphy, previously a three-time loser in the best-actor category at the Globes, finally won a major Hollywood honor after a 25-year career in which his fast-talking comic persona made him a superstar while critical acceptance eluded him.

"Wow. I'll be damned," said Murphy, who plays a slick soul singer struggling to change with the times and find new relevance as the Motown music scene evolves through the 1960s and '70s.

"People don't come to me with supporting roles," Murphy said backstage. "The reason I responded to this was that it was a great role. I've always been open to it; it just never came to me."

Hudson rose to fame barely two years ago on "American Idol" on the strength of her powerhouse voice, which she uses to great effect in "Dreamgirls." The film also shows her remarkable acting range, from brassy comedy to heartbreaking pathos as a soaring vocalist in a Supremes-like singing group.

"I had always dreamed but I never ever dreamed this big. This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined," said Hudson, who dedicated her award to the late Florence Ballard, one of the singers from the Supremes on whom her "Dreamgirls" character was based.

"Dreamgirls," director Bill Condon's rousing adaptation of the stage hit, came into the evening with five Globe nominations, including best musical or comedy.

After a decades-long drought in which musicals were virtually absent from Hollywood's lineup, "Dreamgirls" is the third song-and-dance flick to click with audiences in the last five years. "Moulin Rouge" scored a best-picture Oscar nomination for 2001, while "Chicago" won best picture for 2003, a feat "Dreamgirls" aims to emulate.