Usher’s awards-show hot streak continues, as the singer has nabbed the most music-category nominations for the 36th NAACP Image Awards.
Mr. Entertainment received five nods, including Outstanding Male Artist, Outstanding Song (for “Yeah!”) and Outstanding Album for Confessions. He was nominated twice in the category of Outstanding Music Video: for “My Boo” (with Alicia Keys) and “Yeah!” (with Ludacris and Lil Jon).
Last year’s other success story, Kanye West, who beat Usher for most Grammy Award nominations with 10 (see “Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight” ), trailed close behind the singer with four nominations: Outstanding New Artist, Outstanding Album, Outstanding Song and Outstanding Music Video (the latter two for “Jesus Walks”).
Keys picked up three nominations, with two in the category of Outstanding Music Video for “If I Ain’t Got You,” and the aforementioned “My Boo.” The R&B songstress also nabbed a bid for Outstanding Song for “If I Ain’t Got You.”
Artists who received two nominations each include Queen Latifah, Anthony Hamilton, Destiny’s Child, Jill Scott and Prince. Mos Def proved a double threat with nods for his acting and musical skills in the categories of Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for “Something the Lord Made” and Outstanding Male Artist for The New Danger.
The late Ray Charles was nominated for the Outstanding Duo or Group award for “Heaven Help Us All,” his duet with Gladys Knight on the posthumously released album Genius Loves Company.
The Charles biopic, “Ray,” swept the motion-picture categories with seven nominations, including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Kerry Washington), and Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Jamie Foxx).
Foxx was also nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for “Redemption,” and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for “Collateral.”
“Collateral,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Hotel Rwanda” and “Man on Fire” will challenge “Ray” for the title of Outstanding Motion Picture.
In the television category, Dave Chappelle was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for “Chappelle’s Show” and Outstanding Variety (Series or Special) for “Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth.” Russell Simmons received a nod for Outstanding Variety (Series or Special) for “Russell Simmons Presents: Def Poetry.”
The Image Awards were founded to celebrate outstanding achievements and performances of individuals of all races and ethnicities who have helped promote African-Americans in the media. Nominees in the categories of music, movies, television and literature are chosen by a committee of 300 industry professionals and NAACP leaders from across the country.
This year’s awards show will take place March 19 and will be televised on March 26.