NAACP Image Awards 2018: Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige Top Nominations in Music Categories

While Jay-Z and Mary lead the music nominees with five nods, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and SZA trail behind with four nods.

AceShowbiz - The full nominees for the upcoming 49th annual NAACP Image Awards are revealed. Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige lead the pack in music field with five nominations. Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and SZA trail behind with four nominations.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter, scores multiple nods through the songs off his album "4:44". In Outstanding Male Artist category, the "Empire State of Mind" hitmaker is pitted against Brian McKnight, Mars, Charlie Wilson and Lamar. His song "The Story of O.J." is up for Outstanding Song - Contemporary along with Lamar ("HUMBLE.") and SZA ("Love Galore"). The 47-year-old rapper is also nominated for Entertainment of the Year along with Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, Chance The Rapper, Issa Rae and once again Mars.

Blige, on the other hand, scores five nods for the songs off her album "Strength of a Woman". The 46-year-old songstress faces off Beyonce Knowles and Andra Day in Outstanding Female Artist category. She is additionally nominated for Outstanding Song - Traditional along with John Legend ("Surefire (Piano Version)") and Mars ("That's What I Like").

Meanwhile, newcomers that get the coveted Outstanding New Artist nomination are Demetria McKinney, Kevin Ross, Khalid, Vic Mensa and SZA. Winners will be announced during a two-hour live telecast on January 15, 2018 on TV One.

NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishment of people of color in the fields of music, television, literature and film. The event also honors individuals or groups who use their creativity to promote social justice. Returning as the host for the award show is Anthony Anderson. The "Black-ish" star previously hosted the 46th, 47th and 48th NAACP Image Awards.

Entertainer of the Year:

Outstanding New Artist:
  • Demetria McKinney - "Officially Yours" (eOne Music)
  • Kevin Ross - "The Awakening" (Motown/Capitol Records)
  • Khalid - "American Teen" (RCA Records/Right Hand Music Group)
  • SZA - "Ctrl" (RCA Records/Top Dawg Entertainment)
  • Vic Mensa - "The Autobiography" (Roc Nation/Capitol Records)
Outstanding Male Artist: Outstanding Female Artist:
  • Andra Day - "Stand Up for Something" (Warner Bros. Records)
  • Beyonce Knowles - "Die with You" (Columbia Records/Parkwood Entertainment)
  • Ledisi - "Let Love Rule" (Verve Label Group)
  • Mary J. Blige - "Strength of a Woman" (Capitol Records)
  • SZA - "Ctrl" (RCA Records/Top Dawg Entertainment)
Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration: Outstanding Jazz Album:
  • "Boundless" - Damien Escobar (Phoenix Lane Entertainment)
  • "Dreams and Daggers" - Cecile McLorin Salvant (Mack Avenue Records)
  • "Petite Afrique" - Somi (Sony Music/OKeh)
  • "Poetry In Motion" - Najee (Shanachie Entertainment)
  • "So It Is" - Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Legacy Recordings)
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album (Traditional or Contemporary):
  • "Close" - Marvin Sapp (Verity Records)
  • "Crossover Live From Music City" - Travis Greene (RCA Inspiration)
  • "Greenleaf Soundtrack Volume 2" - "Greenleaf" Soundtrack (RCA Inspiration)
  • "Heart. Passion. Pursuit." - Tasha Cobbs Leonard (Motown Gospel)
  • "Let Them Fall in Love" - CeCe Winans (Puresprings Gospel)
Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album:
  • "4:44" - Jay-Z (Roc Nation)
  • "Gods" - Maxwell (Columbia Records)
  • "High" - Ledisi (Verve Label Group)
  • "Strength of a Woman" - Mary J. Blige (Capitol Records)
  • "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
Outstanding Song - Traditional:
  • "High" - Ledisi (Verve Label Group)
  • "Honest" - MAJOR. (BOE/Empire)
  • "Surefire (Piano Version)" - John Legend (Columbia Records)
  • "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
  • "U + Me" - Mary J. Blige (Capitol Records)
Outstanding Song - Contemporary:
  • "Gonna Be Alright" - Mali Music (RCA Records/ByStorm Entertainment)
  • "HUMBLE." - Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
  • "Insecure" - Jazmine Sullivan X Bryson Tiller (RCA Records)
  • "Love Galore" - SZA feat. Travis Scott (II) (RCA Records/Top Dawg Entertainment)
  • "The Story of O.J." - Jay-Z (Roc Nation)
Outstanding Album:

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