JAY-Z & Mary J. Blige Lead NAACP Image Awards Nominees

JAY-Z and Mary J. Blige could win big at the 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards.

The music icons lead the 2018 nominees with five nods apiece. Elsewhere, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, SZA, and Issa Rae have four nominations, while Charlie Wilson, Idris Elba, and Ledisi received three each.

Jigga is up against some serious talent for Entertainer of the Year, a category that also boasts names like Ava DuVernay, Bruno Mars, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, and Issa Rae. Thanks to his work on 4:44, Hov is also up for Outstanding Male Artist, Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album, Outstanding Song — Contemporary (“The Story of O.J.”), and Outstanding Album.


The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul scored nods thanks to her work on Strength of a Woman, including Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (“Love Yourself” with Kanye West), Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album, Outstanding Song — Traditional (“U + Me”), and Outstanding Album.

“The NAACP Image Awards is the ultimate platform for artists and individuals of color who advocate for social justice to share their voices with millions, and to be recognized and celebrated,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “At a moment where there seems to be one tragic event after another in America, the NAACP Image Awards continues to be a beacon of light to the diversity reflected in television, music, film and literature that brings everyone together.”

Hosted by Anthony Anderson, the 49th NAACP Image Awards is set to air live on TV One on Jan. 15 at 9 p.m.