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Hip-hop, R&B dominate Grammy list

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Dec. 7, 2004 at 4:31 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Hip-hop and R&B dominated the top categories when the Recording Academy announced the nominees Tuesday for the 47th Grammy Awards -- with Kanye West, Ray Charles, Usher and Alicia Keys leading the field.

West -- a leading hip-hop producer whose credits included albums by Jay-Z -- received 10 nominations for his debut album as a performer, "The College Dropout."

R&B performers Keys and Usher each received eight nominations, followed by R&B legend Charles with seven. Northern California punk rockers Green Day picked up six nominations, while jazz singer Norah Jones, country legend Loretta Lynn, funk rocker Prince and engineer Al Schmitt each came away with five nominations.

West was nominated for Album of the Year for "the College Dropout" and for Song of the Year for "Jesus Walks." He is also up for Best New Artist -- along with Los Lonely Boys, Maroon 5, Joss Stone and Gretchen Wilson.

Keys' "The Diary of Alicia Keys" and Usher's "Confessions" were both nominated for Album of the Year, along with Green Day's "American Idiot" and Charles' final album, "Genius Loves Company." In addition to Charles' seven nominations, the album also received three other nominations -- including Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocals, Best Engineered Album and Best Surround Sound Album.

Charles' duet with Norah Jones on "Here We Go Again" was nominated for Record of the Year, along with the Black Eyed Peas "Let's Get It Started," Green Day's "American Idiot," Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven" and Usher's "Yeah!"

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said this year's collection of nominees reflected a trend in the music industry -- with artists wearing more hats during the recording process and reaching across musical genres to choose collaborators.

"And with new artists emerging in rock, country, pop, R&B and rap, as well as in many other fields," he said, "we are pleased to see the robust health and creativity of all genres of music."

The nominees for Song of the Year cover a wider range of genres than the Album of the Year and Record of the Year categories. Besides the C. Smith and Kanye West composition "Jesus Walks," they are John Mayer's "Daughters"; Keys' "If I Ain't Got You"; the Tim McGraw country hit "Live Like You Were Dying," written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman; and the Hoobastank hit "The Reason," written by Daniel Estrin and Douglas Robb.

Along with Green Day, the top nominees in rock are the Killers, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Velvet Revolver.

Costello & the Imposters are nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Monkey to Man." The other nominees in the category are Franz Ferdinand for "Take Me Out," Green Day for "American Idiot," the Killers for "Somebody Told Me" and U2 for "Vertigo."

Costello's CD "The Delivery Man" is up for Best Rock Album, along with "American Idiot," Hoobastank's "The Reason," the Killers' "Hot Fuss" and the Velvet Revolver's "Contraband."

Loretta Lynn scored all five of her nominations for her critically praised album "Van Lear Rose." The album is up for Best Country Album, and two of its songs -- "Miss Being Mrs." and "Portland Oregon" -- are up for Best Country Song.

The other nominees for Best Country Album are "Live Like You Were Dying," Tift Merritt's "Tambourine," Keith Urban's "Be Here" and Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party."

Three of Charles' seven nominations came in the Pop category. His duet with Jones and his duet with Elton John on "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" were nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The list of nominees in the category included another legendary musician who died this year -- Johnny Cash. His duet with the late Clash guitarist Joe Strummer on "Redemption Song" was nominated, along with "Something" by Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton and "Moon River" by Stevie Wonder and Take 6.

Charles was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, along with Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home," Sarah McLachlan's "Afterglow," Joss Stone's "Mind, Body & Soul" and Brian Wilson's "Brian Wilson Presents Smile."

Charles also scored a nomination in the new category of Best Gospel Performance. His duet with Gladys Knight on "Heaven Help Us All" was nominated, along with Shirley Caesar & Ann Nesby for "The Stone"; Dr. John & Mavis Staples for "Lay My Burden Down"; Fred Hammond for "Celebrate (He Lives)"; and Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama for "There Will Be a Light."

Grammy ballots will be mailed Dec. 15. Voting members of the Recording Academy have until Jan. 12 to return them. The Grammys will be presented Feb. 13 in ceremonies from Los Angeles to be televised live by CBS.

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(Please send comments to nationaldesk@upi.com.)

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