Beyonce had a relatively normal year in 2020, but her work has admittedly taken a turn in a different direction as the outstanding singer and songwriter released a few black empowerment pieces, signaling a shift in her career. Beyonce has been doing it for the culture a long time, but her music is now forceful. In that light, she is leading the NAACP Image Awards, competing for two of the most coveted positions for her song “Black Parade”, an anthem that inspires confidence in one’s black roots and dipping into her Southern upbringing.
The song was nominated for Outstanding soul/ R&B Song as well as Outstanding Female Artist. The other artists competing for Outstanding Soul/ R&B song are H.E.R with her song “I can’t breathe,” Ledisi – “Anything for you,” Jhene Aiko – B.S featuring H.E.R and Chloe X Halle with their song “Do It.”
Rounding off the competitors for Outstanding Female Artist are H.E.R with her song “I Can’t Breathe,” Jazmine Sullivan- “Lost One”, Ledisi with “Anything for You,” and Alicia Keys for “Alicia.”
Outstanding New Artist says the young Marley sensation- Skip Marley being nominated for his single “Higher Place,” Doja Cat for “Say So,” Chika –“High Rises”, D Smoke Black Habits and Giveon: “When it’s all said and done.”
On the Outstanding Album nomination list, the women took the chunk of the nominations as only one male was nominated – John Legend for his album “Bigger Love”. The women nominated are Alicia Keys for “Alicia”, Brandy for “B7”, Jhene Aiko- “Chilombo”, and Ledisi for “The Wild Card.”
Meanwhile, only one female- Missy Elliot’s “Cool Off”, was nominated for Outstanding Hip Hop, which is usually a male dominated genre anyways. Among the other nominations are Future& Drake’s “Life is Good,” their billion streams single, Big Sean’s “Deep Reverence” featuring Nipsey Hussle and Drake’s laugh Now Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk.
Drake’s song was also nominated for Outstanding Male Artist along with Big Sean’s Detriot 2, Black Thought: Streams of Thought, Vl 3: Cane and Able”, Charlie Wilson’s “All of my Love”, and John Legend’s “Bigger Love.”
Meanwhile, Entertainer of the Year sees some of the biggest names line up, including D-Nice, Regina King, Viola Davis, Trevor Noah, and Tyler Perry.
The Outstanding Drama Series is also no surprise as “All Rise,” Netflix 17th Century based “Bridgerton,” “Lovecraft Country,” Powerbook II: Ghost,” and “This Is Us” are the final nominees.
The Outstanding Comedy Series line-up includes ‘#blackAF’, ‘Black-ish’, ‘Grown-ish’, ‘Insecure’, and ‘The Last O.G.”
Derrick Johnson, President, and CEO, NAACP, in response to the release of the categories and nominations, said, “we are excited to recognize and celebrate this year’s nominees, who at times throughout this unprecedented year have provided moments of levity, brought our communities together, and lifted our spirits through culture when we needed it the most.”
The 52nd NAACP Image Awards will air live on March 27 at 8:00 PM on BET.