Today in Tha Wire the nominations are out, the line-up is locked down, and date is set for 2017 BET Awards.  This will be the first year the annual event will not be programed by former BET exec, Stephen Hill, since he stepped down in March.  After 18-years Hill took the entertainment world by surprise and suddenly walked away from a career that put Black television on the map.  Hill created the BET Awards, as well as the BET Hip Hop Awards and The Cyphers, 106 & Park, The Real Husbands of Hollywood, Being Mary Jane, and countless tribute shows, to include The New Edition Story.  So his presence at the network will surly be missed, and his predecessor will have some HUGE shoes to fill.

Speaking of which, BET's programing of this years awards show appears to be off to a good start.  Billboard reports SNL's Leslie Jones will be the host, and the list of artist performing is growing by the minute.  Already confirmed to hit the stage is Bruno Mars, The Migos, Trey Songz, Toni Braxton and Future.   This years presenters include everyone from Jamie Foxx, Jada-Pinkett Smith and La La Anthony, to Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and more.

It's gonna be a big night for Hip Hop and R&B, with fierce competition between the worlds biggest artists for the top prize of Artist, Album and Video of The Year.  Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Chance The Rapper, Solange and The Migos lead the pack with the most nominations.  Peep the rundown below for a look at all the artists up for an award:

Beyoncé has a total of 7 nods, with her baby sis, Bruno and Chance on her foot heels up for 4.  Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, Young M.A. and Cardi B will compete for Best Female Hip Hop Artists.  Big Sean, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Chance will all go head-to-head for this years Best Male Hip Hop Artist.

My guess-  None of them got skillz like Missy, but the main battle is probably gonna be out of Nicki and Remy.  Love em both but Remy had a hell of comeback.  So imma have to go with her winning Best Female MC.  Though Kendrick's Damn singles are fire, it came to late to be in the running this year.  I think the top contenders are Chance, Sean, Cole and Drizzy.  They all had a smokin 2016.  I think it's Sean's time, Cole has more than paid his dues and Drake is always putting in work, but I gotta feeling Chance will score the Best Male rapper this go around.

The Best Female R&B/Pop Artist category is loaded with heavy weights.  Up for that award are Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Solange and Kehlani.  Same thing for The Best Male R&B/Pop award with Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Usher and The Weeknd.

My guess-  Mary is a legend, but like Kendrick her LP came late so she'll get her accolades next round.  Solange and Kehlanie are diamonds, not as strong as Bey and RiRi. This is super tough, but I think Bey will take Best Female.  Trigger is a beast, and he'll join Mary and Kendrick on the next one.  Usher is an icon, but Hard II Love didn't make as much noise as hoped.  Hands down Bruno and Chris killed the game in 2016.  I love me some Breezy, but this time I think Bruno will cop the Best Male award.

Last but not least the almighty Album Of The Year category is comprised of Bruno's 24K Magic, Bey’s Lemonade, J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only, Chance Coloring Book, and Solange’s A Seat At The Table are all up for the biggest prize of the night.

My guess- Solange is finally getting some overdue props.  That is one badazz sista, but she's up against some monsters on this one.  Cole deserves to be here, this brotha has paid his dues and his album is fire.  Chance blew up the spot last year, he's such a unique talent, plus no other artist made a bigger impact on young voters.  

At the end of the day, I think it's gonna come down to Bruno and Queen Bey.  Those two shut it down from the word go, starting with the Super Bowl halftime show.  If that happens...Beyonce' should take the win. Lemonade.  I absolutely love Bruno's album, but Bey slayed the hell out 2016.  Her album was monumental, and shattered every record imaginable!  Matter of fact Bey is still dropping singles from that album!

The Lemonade mini-film was nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys, the tour was one of the top 20 highest grossing tours of all time, the singles topped the charts, the videos phenomenal, it even gave birth to its own clothing line and Christmas merch.  Bill Condon, director of Beauty and the Beast movie said her album inspired him for the film, The University of Texas at San Antonio offered a class based on the album, titled "Black Women, Beyoncé and Popular Culture."  Though it was snubbed at the Grammys, Adele still dedicated her win to Bey!

Everybody knows that album was the shit!  So success so undeniable as that, Beyonce better win!  Lol!  We'll all get a chance to see how close I came with my predictions soon enough.  Don't miss the 2017 BET Awards, airing June 25.  For all the goods in entertainment, be sure to catch Tha Wire every weekday on The People's Station 107 Jamz.

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