JAY-Z and Mary J. Blige lead the 2018 NAACP Image awards with five nominations each.

Both are nominated for their most recent acclaimed projects, 4:44 and Strength of a Woman respectively. JAY-Z is also up for entertainer of the year at the award's show.

Bruno Mars, Issa Rae, Chance the Rapper, Chadwick Boseman and director Ava DuVernay are also nominated for entertainer of the year. Bruno Mars, Issa Rae, Kendrick Lamar, and SZA are tied for the second-most nominations, with four apiece.

As for Jay, he's had a big year thus far. Currently on tour in support of his well-received 4:44 album— a study on love and relationships, maturity as a man and the importance of black empowerment— Jay has been particularly vocal about social issues this year, most recently penning an op-ed for the New York Times about the ills of the criminal justice system, spawned by Meek Mill's recent sentencing. The criminal justice system has been a recurring subject for the rapper/mogul this year. The JAY-Z-produced documentary TIME: The Kalief Browder Story aired on FX early this year. Jay also penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter about social change in June.

Mary has been busy this year as well. It was recently announced that she'll be with the “Icon” award at this year’s Women in Music ceremony presented by Billboard magazine. Additionally, she's developing a music drama for Fox called 8 Count. She's currently starring in the critically-acclaimed Netflix film, Mudbound,

The 49th Annual NAACP Image Awards will air on January 15, 2018 on TV One.



Worst to Best: Every JAY-Z Album Ranked