The nominees for the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards were announced in Beverly Hills during a press conference that included artists 50 Cent and Smokey Robinson. Contenders in the Best New Artist category include Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, B.o.B. and Willow Smith. On the list for Outstanding Album nominations are (gasp!) Kanye West, Sade, John Legend and The Roots, Usher and Smokey Robinson.
West, Sade, Smith and Usher are among those who nabbed multiple nominations, and this is Smith’s first major award nomination since releasing her tremendously successful debut hit “Whip My Hair.” Whether Smith's PG-13 package will win voters’ hearts over Nicki Minaj’s, uh, more adult-friendly content remains to be seen. The prodigious, hair-whipping daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith (not to mention V magazine’s current cover girl) will go toe-to-toe on March 4 when the Awards broadcast on Fox.
Other nominees in musical categories include Beyoncé, Cee Lo Green, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Usher, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, The Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell and Alicia Keyes.
Keri Hilson, whose single "Pretty Girl Rock" was released last year, did not receive a nomination. That must sting a little bit considering Hilson performed, presented and won Best New Artist at last year’s awards.
West's new music video for "Monster" featuring women dangling from the ceiling with nooses around their necks is also conspicuously absent from the Best Music Video category. Gee.
Want to find out who else was snubbed and/or nominated this year? Head over to the NAACP’s Website to check out a full list of all of this year’s nominees. Let us know if you see any glaring omissions!