R&B crooner Usher beat out Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, Kanye West and Ne-Yo for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Male Artist, while Mary J. Blige won for Outstanding Female Artist, at the yearly award ceremony organized by the NAACP.
John Legend and The Roots won several categories, including Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration, beating Diddy-Dirty Money to get the award for Outstanding Album, for their collaborative album “Wake Up!” (Editor’s note: Deserved!)
One of the larger surprises of the night however, was the nod to Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who won the award for Outstanding New Artist, beating out other highly successful upstarts like B.o.B., Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, and Nicki Minaj. (Editor’s note: Not deserved!) Alicia Keys beat out Smith for Outstanding Music Video, for “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready).”
The NAACP Image Awards for 2011 faced a bit of controversy, as complaints regarding the organization celebrating the music of artists such as Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj found church leaders speaking out again the inclusion in the nomination pool. This prompted NAACP Branch President (Pasadena, Ca.) Joe Brown to suggest that the national office should “review the policy of the nominees and the participants,” to avoid such criticisms.
To view the entire list of NAACP Image Awards 2011 winners, visit www.naacpimageawards.net