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Oscar Nominations Announced: Beyoncé Receives Her First Nod, Will Smith, Denzel Washington & More
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Oscar Nominations Announced: Beyoncé Receives Her First Nod, Will Smith, Denzel Washington & More

The most nominated Black actor in Oscar history is in the mix.

Culture & Entertainment

The Oscar nominations are in and some of our faves have been nominated, some even in the same category. The list went out this morning and it included Beyoncé, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and more. Here’s a breakdown of the Black excellence that was nominated.


King Richard has received a total of six nominations. The film starring Will Smith as Richard Williams is based on the life of Richard and how his dedication to his kids' futures helped him produce two of the most talented tennis players in the world Venus and Serena.

The nominations included Best Picture, Best Original Screen Play, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song. Will has been nominated for Best Actor and Aunjanue Ellis, who played Richard’s wife Brandi, is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Beyoncé, who sings the film’s song “Be Alive” received a nomination for “Best Original Song” making it the first time the hitmaker has ever been nominated for an Academy Award.

But Will isn’t the only beloved Black actor nominated for Best Actor. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington is also up for the golden trophy in the same category for his portrayal as Macbeth in The Tragedy of Macbeth. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is Denzel’s 10th nomination making him the most nominated Black actor in the history of the Academy Awards.

It’s been 20 years since Denzel and Will faced off in the same Oscar’s category. In 2002, the two were competing for Best Actor with Will for his portrayal as Muhammad Ali in Ali and Denzel in Training Day. Denzel took home the win, but some fans are predicting that Will may beat out the Hollywood heavyweight this time.

Another face-off between Black actors is in the Best Supporting Actress category. As we mentioned, Aunjanue is nominated in the category, but so is Afro-Latina actress Ariana DeBose.

Ariana is nominated for her role in West Side Story. However, if she wins, she would reportedly join an exclusive club of people who have won an Oscar for playing the same role in different films, such as the person in the role before her, Rita Moreno.

The Roots’ bandmember Questlove also received a nod for Best Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul.

While there is much excitement surrounding this year’s nominees, there are also some disappointments. Many fans are outraged over Jennifer Hudson not being nominated for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in Respect.

This year, the Academy Awards will be produced by Will Packer and xoNecole parent company, Will Packer Media. It takes place Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Featured image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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