The 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards has announced its winners at a live ceremony in Los Angeles, California on Friday, March 4. In music, John Legend and The Roots dominated the pack. They bagged two gongs, one for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration and the other for Outstanding Album.
In the former category, John and The Roots beat Diddy-Dirty Money, Eminem and Rihanna, Herbie Hancock ft. India.Arie and Chaka Khan, as well as Black Eyed Peas. In the latter, they won over Kanye West, Smokey Robinson, Usher and Sade.
Outstanding New Artist trophy was given to young Willow Smith. The 10-year-old Roc Nation singer won over much-older artists like B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo and Nicki Minaj. But the little girl lost Outstanding Music Video to Alicia Keys.
Outstanding Male Artist title was given to Usher who pushed aside Kanye, Cee-Lo Green, Jay-Z and Ne-Yo. Outstanding Female Artist, meanwhile, was handed to Mary J. Blige. She won it over Chrisette Michele, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna and Sade.
Aired on FOX, 2011 NAACP Image Awards honors the best achievements by people of color in TV, music, literature and movie. The Friday event was held at the Shrine Auditorium and hosted by Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete. Sade, who got the most nominations in music with four nods, unfortunately won none.
This year, the prize-giving event comes under fire for celebrating Jay-Z, Minaj, P. Diddy, Kanye and other artists who often use offensive lyrics and derogatory images. "It is unconscionable that the NAACP would sully its brand, squander its legacy, and take such a stand contrary to the aspirations and dreams of the mainstream of the African-American community," said Reverend Delman Coates, senior pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church.
"While artists are free to produce their own art, it is not acceptable for public corporations and established civil right organizations to sanction the kinds of lyrics promoted by some of these artists," he continued. "These are the wrong images for a civil rights organization to nominate and endorse."
In response to the criticisms, the Pasadena branch of the NAACP promised to review the complaints to see if they are valid. "I think the national office is going to review the policy of the nominees and the participants," said NACCP President Joe Brown. "Hopefully this will eliminate inviting those whose lyrics are considered disdainful."