With five nominations, Marcia Ball leads the field for the 23rd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards, including a nod for entertainer of the year. Ike Turner, Kid Ramos, Kim Wilson, and Otis Taylor each net

With five nominations, Marcia Ball leads the field for the 23rd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards, including a nod for entertainer of the year. Ike Turner, Kid Ramos, Kim Wilson, and Otis Taylor each netted four nominations. The awards, presented by the non-profit Blues Foundation, are set for May 23 at Memphis' Orpheum Theater, and will be taped for broadcast on PBS.

For the coveted entertainer of the year honor, Ball is up against some serious competition, notably Bobby Rush, Rod Piazza, B.B. King, Shemekia Copeland, and Turner. Ball is also nominated for contemporary blues-female artist of the year and blues instrumentalist-keyboards of the year, while her Alligator album, "Presumed Innocent" is up for contemporary blues album and blues album of the year.

"This year's Handy nominations celebrate dynamic new blues artists alongside great new work by established names," said Howard Stovall, Blues Foundation executive director, in a statement. "Through the broadcast of the Handy Awards on public television across the nation, we look forward to demonstrating the excitement and influence of the blues as America's indigenous art form to fans young and old around the country."

For more information, and the full list of 2002 nominees, visit the official Handy Awards Web site.