Mariah, Kanye, Alicia Lead NAACP Image Noms

With four nominations each, Mariah Carey, Kanye West and Alicia Keys lead the field of musicians contending for 2006 NAACP Image Awards.

With four nominations each, Mariah Carey, Kanye West and Alicia Keys lead the field of musicians contending for 2006 NAACP Image Awards. Mary J. Blige (three) and Common (two) also pick up multiple nods for the honors, which will be taped Feb. 25 and aired Mar. 3 on Fox.

In the best album category, Keys' "Unplugged" (J), Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island Def Jam) and West's "Late Registration" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) are up against Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" (Geffen) and the Luther Vandross compilation set, "So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross" (J).

Carey, West and Keys will also compete in the best song category for "We Belong Together," "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" and "Unbreakable," respectively. The other nominees are Blige ("Be Without You") and Kem ("I Can't Stop Loving You").

Keys and Carey are vying for best female artist with Blige, Toni Braxton and India.Arie. For best male artist, West is up against Common, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder and Kem.

Nominees for best new artist are Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole, Bobby Valentino, Leela James and Omarion. For best duo or group, Destiny's Child will contend with the Black Eyed Peas, Floetry, Ray Charles and Earth, Wind & Fire.

In the film category, Ludacris picked up a supporting actor nod for his role in "Crash" and Ashanti earned a supporting actress nomination for "Coach Carter." Queen Latifah is nominated for best actress ("Beauty Shop"), and Will Smith for best actor ("Hitch").