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Ciara leads Vibe Awards nominations

Singer gets five nods; magazine hopes to avoid more showdowns

Ciara will have a fightin’ chance to bring home the most Vibe Awards at this year’s hip-hop and R&B awards show. She leads the field with five nominations, including artist of the year.

The magazine hopes to avoid last year’s onstage scuffle in which Jimmy James Johnson emerged from the audience and punched Dr. Dre, setting off a chair-throwing brawl. Johnson was then allegedly stabbed by rapper Young Buck.

Johnson was sentenced in September to a year in jail after he pleaded guilty to punching the rap mogul. Young Buck, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail awaiting trial.

This year’s ceremony will be taped Nov. 12 in Los Angeles, with the show to air Nov. 15 (8 p.m. EST) on UPN. Vibe announced the nominations Monday.

In addition to Ciara, nominees for artist of the year are Kanye West, Mariah Carey, John Legend and 50 Cent, who each have four nominations.

Nominees for album of the year are “Get Lifted” by Legend, “Late Registration” by West, “The Documentary” by The Game, “The Emancipation of Mimi” by Mariah Carey and “The Naked Truth” by Lil’ Kim.

Lil’ Kim won’t be able to attend the ceremony. She is serving a 366-day sentence at a federal detention center in Philadelphia for lying to a grand jury investigating a 2001 shootout involving members of her entourage and a clique loyal to her archenemy, rapper Foxy Brown.

Nominees for best rapper are West, 50 Cent, Ludacris, The Game and T.I.

Other award categories include reelest video, video goddess and street anthem.