"Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Fabolous also in the running

By Stephen M. Silverman
May 19, 2010 07:00 AM
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Sara De Boer/Retna

Jay-Z and Justin Bieber may seem like an odd couple, but both are in the running for the 10th annual Black Entertainment TV Awards – Jay-Z in five categories, including best male hip-hop artist and video of the year, and the Canadian teen and PEOPLE cover boy as best new artist.

Others with five BET nominations each are Drake and and Nicki Minaj, while Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Melanie Fiona are all up for four. Rihanna, B.o.B, Young Money and Fabolous received three nods apiece.

While Bieber may seem a far reach for a BET Award, Stephen Hill, BET head of programming, praised the 16-year-old for the “rhythm in his music … He makes the type of music our audience likes.”

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As nominations were announced on Tuesday, organizers also said, “Justin Bieber has crossed the color boundaries in the way hip-hop has the other way for a number of years.”

Winners will be announced at a Los Angeles ceremony to be hosted by Queen Latifah on June 27. For the complete list of nominees, go to BET.com.