“Precious” leads NAACP Image Awards nominations

Mariah CareyThe heart-wrenching story of an illiterate and abused Harlem teen who finds hope in a classroom of misfits led the nominations announced Wednesday for the 41st annual NAACP Image Awards.

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” added to its awards-season momentum with a leading eight nominations, earning nods for director Lee Daniels, star Gabourey Sidibe and supporting actors Mariah Carey, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz. “Precious” was also nominated for outstanding motion picture and outstanding independent film.

Other movies nominated Wednesday include “Invictus,” ”Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “The Blind Side” and “The Princess and the Frog.” “Blind Side” stars Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron, “Princess” star Anika Noni Rose, and “Invictus” star Morgan Freeman also were nominated for their performances.

Sophie Okonedo (“Skin”) and Taraji P. Henson (“Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself”) round out the best actress category, while Denzel Washington (“The Taking of Pelham 123”), Idris Elba (“Obsessed”) and Jamie Foxx (“Law Abiding Citizen”) are up for best actor.

Jay-Z tops the nominees in the music category with five nods, including outstanding male artist and album for “The Blueprint 3.” His collaborations with Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Kanye West were also recognized. Rihanna and Keys were also nominated for outstanding female artist, along with India.Arie, Mary J. Blige and Whitney Houston. Competing with Jay-Z in the male artist category are Anthony Hamilton, Charlie Wilson, Maxwell and Ne-Yo.

In TV categories, nominated dramas include “Cold Case,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “HawthoRNe,” “Lincoln Heights” and “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.” “Glee,” “30 Rock,” “Ugly Betty,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” were nominated for outstanding comedy series.

The Image Awards honoring diversity in the arts will be presented Feb. 26 and broadcast live on Fox.