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Smith, Jordan, King top Image awards

Singer Battle receives Fame honor at NAACP's 30th fete

Actor Will Smith, sports superstar Michael Jordan and blues artist B.B. King are set to receive the NAACP’s highest honors during the civil rights organization’s 30th Image Awards presentation Feb. 13-14, where winners in 41 categories will also be announced at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will present Smith with the Entertainer of the Year award for his “outstanding achievement and contribution to the industry and the community.”

Past recipients include Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Oprah Winfrey.

Jordan will receive the Jackie Robinson Sports Award. King and opera soloist Kathleen Battle will be inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Additionally, the NAACP unveiled its Image Award nominees in film, television and music categories, among others, who “strive for the portrayal of positive images, and meaningful opportunities, for African-Americans in the entertainment industry.”

Touchstone Pictures leads the studio pack with 12 nominations, including “Beloved,” “Enemy of the State” and “He Got Game.”

Among television noms, which cover both daytime and primetime, CBS received 25 nods primarily for the shows “The Young and the Restless,” “Cosby” and the special “Mama Flora’s Family.” NBC was recognized for its shows, led by “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Law & Order,” “ER” and the miniseries “The Temptations.” ABC followed with 16, HBO had 11 and the WB had 10, led by “Moesha.”

Will Smith’s record label Columbia Records brought home nine nominations, mostly for Smith and Mariah Carey. Arista took home five for Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Gospo Centric also got five noms

The Image Awards will be telecast March 4 on Fox.

Hamilton Cloud is the show’s executive producer. Vicangelo Bulluck produces the show for the fourth year. Chuck Vinson will direct for the second year.

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