2015 NAACP Image Award Nominations: Erica Campbell, Gladys Knight, Michelle Williams Score Gospel Nods

( [email protected] ) Dec 16, 2014 12:30 AM EST
Erica Atkins-Campbell, Michelle Williams, and Gladys Knight - Getty
Erica Atkins, Michelle Williams and Gladys Knight (Getty Image)

In a year filled with so many great albums, the 2015 Image Award Outstanding Gospel Album nominees are clearly at the top of their music game. But, there can only be one winner. This year's nominees include albums from a former member of one of the biggest girl groups in music history, a minister and an R&B legend.

Michelle Williams, who rose to fame as part of Destiny's Child, performing alongside Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland earned a nomination for her solo gospel album "Journey To Freedom." Fourth time nominee Donnie McClurkin, who won the Image award in 2004 for album "Again" earned his fourth nomination for album "Duets" and veteran soul artist Gladys Knight who returned to her gospel roots received a nod for album "Where My Heart Belongs." Other albums nominated include Erica Campbell's "Help" and Fred Hammond's "I Will Trust." An album the Detroit native says was motivated by his medical struggles of having to get two knee replacements.

The NAACP Image award nominees, announced Dec. 10, 2014, live from the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Calif offered few surprises in the film categories. As expected, dramas "Belle," "Selma" and the satirical indie film "Dear White People" are up for Outstanding Motion Picture with the biopics on iconic entertainers Jimi Hendrix and James Brown; "Jimi​: All Is By My Side" and "Get On Up" rounding off the list for best film of the year.

Dear White People
Dear White People nominated for best film (courtesy of Roadside Attractions)
Get On Up
Get On Up (courtesy of Universal Pictures)

"Get On Up" scored its well deserving leading star Chadwick Boseman, who plays James Brown, a nod for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, but shut out on the directing side is Tate Taylor who failed to garner an award for the energetic and entertaining film. Also shut out is singer/actor André Benjamin who brilliantly portrayed Hendrix. Boseman will vie for the accolade alongside David Oyelowo ("Selma"), Denzel Washington ("The Equalizer"), Idris Elba ("No Good Deed") and Nate Parker ("Beyond The Lights").

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture has three actors from the civil rights drama "Selma" vying for that one accolade (André Holland, Wendell Pierce and Common) while Oprah Winfrey, Carmen Ejogo, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will battle for the supporting actress accolade.

Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in movie Selma
Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in movie Selma (courtesy of Royalty Image)
Amma Asante
Amma Asante (courtesy of Royalty Image)

Nominees on the directing side include Ava DuVernay ("Selma), Antoine Fuqua ("The Equalizer"), John Ridley ("Jimi: All Is By My Side"), Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond The Lights") and "Belle" director and former child star Amma Asante.

Uzo Aduba, known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the popular Netflix television series "Orange is the New Black" earned an Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series nomination and will battle for that accolade alongside Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish"), Niecy Nash ("The Soul Man") and Wendy Raquel Robinson ("The Game").

"I am Ali" the feature documentary on Muhammad Ali and "Finding Fela," a documentary feature about Fela Kuti's life and music both earned nominations for Outstanding Documentary while the indie Nigerian drama "Half of a Yellow Sun" which is adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's best selling novel is up for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.

In the music category, Beyonce received five nominations and Alicia Keys earned two nominations. Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi and Mary J Blige also earned a nomination for Outstanding Female Artist.

The 46th NAACP Image Award nominees were announced by actresses Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tracee Ellis Ross and entertainment reporter Nischelle Turner.

An award show established in 1967 at the height of the civil rights movement by NAACP's (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch who were concerned about the lack of recognition for minorities in entertainment, it has grown into a prestigious event.

Winners from 54 categories will be announced live on the TV One cable Network on Friday Feb 6th at 8pm.