R&B crooner John Legend and the infamous Roots Band lead the pack of winners at the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards which went down last night (Feb 4.) in Los Angeles, California. They won two awards for their collaborative album WAKE UP!, including âOutstanding Duo, Group or Collaborationâ and the other for âOutstanding Album.â
Newcomer Willow Smith took home the âOutstanding New Artistâ trophy, beating out artists like B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo and Nicki Minaj. She was also nominated for Outstanding Music Video, which was snagged by Alicia Keys.
Usher, who recently said he would donate all monies earned from an appearance linked to Gadhafi, won Outstanding Male Artist, beating rivals Kanye, Cee-Lo Green, Jay-Z and Ne-Yo. Hip Hop Soul Queen Mary J. Blige won Outstanding Female Artist over Chrisette Michele, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna and Sade, while Fantasia won the award for Best Song.
In related news, the NAACP Image Awards took some heat this year for honoring Jay-Z, Minaj, P. Diddy, Kanye and other artists who often use offensive lyrics and derogatory images.
“It is unconscionable that the NAACP would sully its brand, squander its legacy, and take such a stand contrary to the aspirations and dreams of the mainstream of the African-American community,” said Reverend Delman Coates, senior pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church.
“While artists are free to produce their own art, it is not acceptable for public corporations and established civil right organizations to sanction the kinds of lyrics promoted by some of these artists,” he continued. “These are the wrong images for a civil rights organization to nominate and endorse.”
In response, the organization promised to review the complaints to see if they are valid. “I think the national office is going to review the policy of the nominees and the participants,” said NACCP President Joe Brown. “Hopefully this will eliminate inviting those whose lyrics are considered disdainful.”
2011 NAACP Image Awards Music Winners List:
â¢ Outstanding New Artist: Willow Smith
â¢ Outstanding Male Artist: Usher
â¢ Outstanding Female Artist: Mary J. Blige
â¢ Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration: John Legend and The Roots
â¢ Outstanding Jazz Album: “From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf – Live in Marciac” – The Wynton Marsalis Quintet and Richard Galliano
â¢ Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary): “You Are Not Alone” – Mavis Staples
â¢ Outstanding World Music Album: “VOCAbuLarieS” – Bobby McFerrin
â¢ Outstanding Music Video: “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” – Alicia Keys
â¢ Outstanding Song: “Bittersweet” – Fantasia Barrino
â¢ Outstanding Album: “Wake Up!” – John Legend and The Roots