While R&B singer Ashanti wrestles herself for the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration -- "What's Luv?" with Fat Joe and "Always on Time" with Ja Rule -- the battles royale are in the rock world, where the frontmen of two leading acts face off against their bands.
Canadian rockers Nickelback, for instance, are nominated for Record of the Year for "How You Remind Me," which was the most-played song of 2002 at radio. Singer, guitarist and chief songwriter Chad Kroeger, however, has three nominations for "Hero," his collaboration with Saliva's Josey Scott for the "Spider-Man" film soundtrack.
And Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has a nomination in the Best Metal Performance category for "Get Inside," a song with his other band, Stone Sour that puts him up against Slipknot's "My Plague."
"It's really weird," says Taylor, who will be touring Europe with Stone Sour and won't attend Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony. "It's one of those things where I never in million years would've thought I was going to be in that position.
"But it's pretty cool; anything that keeps the names out there and keeps us relevant is a good thing. Three-times nominated Slipknot and now Grammy-nominated Stone Sour makes it all sound official, y'know? And hopefully maybe one of us will win it this year."
Nickelback's Kroeger, meanwhile, acknowledges that "there's three nominations for 'Hero' and one for Nickelback, so that alone just dictates that the chances of me walking away with something for 'Hero' are three times better. If I actually win a Grammy, I'll probably freak out, no matter what it's for."
Nickelback came up empty at the American Music Awards in January, where the group performed, but Kroeger still calls attending award shows "an awful lot of fun."
"The best part is the stories you get to take home with you, meeting all the people you get to meet," Kroeger says. "Our drummer got to hang out and do fun extracurricular things with Willie Nelson on his tour bus. I got to meet Faith Hill and Shania Twain -- that's cool.
"It's the stuff the rest of your friends don't get to do. So you're packing good stories for your friends, and the cool thing is you don't have to make anything up; it really is a great time."
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