Actress Mariah Carey, star of the new film Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire, poses at the AFI Fest 2009 gala screening of the film in Hollywood November 1, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser.

Pop diva Mariah Carey won the Breakthrough Performance Award by the Palm Springs International Film Festival for her performance on the film Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

Carey will be presented the award on January 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the PSIFF announced Monday.

We're delighted to be able to present the Breakthrough Performance Award to the extraordinary, very beautiful and versatile Mariah Carey, who, in a critically acclaimed role, completely transformed herself from a glamorous music icon to a forthright social worker for the role of Ms. Weiss in Precious, Harold Matzner, the festival's chairman said.

In the past, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman and Freida Pinto have been awarded the prize in this category, according to the festival.

Precious is directed by Lee Daniels and starred by Gabourey Sidibe. The drama is now on theaters in the U.S. and is rated with 91 percent of positive reviews, according to, a reviews agreggation site.