REUTERS

REUTERS

The harrowing tale of a struggling Harlem teen in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire earned a leading eight nominations for the NAACP Image awards on Wednesday.

The independent movie garnered acting nods for newcomer Gabourey Sidibe as well as Mo'nique, Lenny Kravitz and singer Mariah Carey, along with a best movie and best director nomination for Lee Daniels.

When the awards are handed out on Feb 26, Precious will compete for best movie with Michael Jackson's posthumous concert film This Is It, Disney's The Princess and the Frog which features the studio's first black princess in a major animated film, South African rugby tale Invictus and football film The Blind Side.

Sandra Bullock, playing a white mother who takes in a homeless African-American teen in The Blind Side, also earned an NAACP Image Award best actress nomination. She will compete against Sidibe, Anika Noni Rose for her work in The Princess and the Frog, Sophie Okonedo in Skin and Taraji P. Henson for Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself.

In the best film actor race, Invictus star Morgan Freeman playing South African leader Nelson Mandela will face off against Denzel Washington for The Taking of Pelham 123, Idris Elba in Obsessed, Jamie Foxx for Law Abiding Citizen and Quinton Aaron with The Blind Side.

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. It launched its annual Image Awards, which honor diversity in movies, TV, music and books, 41 years ago.

Rapper Jay-Z led the music nominees with five nods, including his collaborations with Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. Keys followed with three nominations.

In the TV categories, medical drama Grey's Anatomy received six nominations including best drama, while comedies Everybody Hates Chris and Tyler Perry's House of Payne both got four.