48th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees Announced
Mariah Carey, John Legend and Kanye West top list of nominations with eight each

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Nominations for the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced by The Recording Academy, reflecting a year in which multiple genres were represented in top categories; collaborations were numerous and diverse; and newer up-and-comers were nominated alongside more established, legendary artists. The nominations were announced at Gotham Hall in New York City and the event was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives.

Artists reading nominations this morning included Natasha Bedingfield, Big & Rich, Mariah Carey, Chad Kroeger (Nickelback), Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Carly Simon, Sway, and CeCe Winans. The 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 - 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Topping the nominations, Mariah Carey, John Legend and Kanye West each earned eight. 50 Cent, Beyoncé Knowles, The Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder garnered six a piece. Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani and U2 received five nods each, while Common, Destiny's Child, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Neptunes, Brad Paisley, Phil Tan, and Gretchen Wilson each earned four.

"As we celebrate the GRAMMYs coast-to-coast, this year's nominations truly reflect a dynamic and vibrant community of music makers that includes artists, producers, engineers, songwriters and everyone involved in the creative process," said Neil Portnow, President of The Recording Academy. "As this is the only music award that is voted on by music makers, the GRAMMY continues to be the preeminent symbol of excellence and achievement as well as the most coveted demonstration of peer-recognition and honor. Once again, our highly respected process has delivered a wealth of music and talent to spotlight on Feb. 8, 2006, during Music's Biggest Night."

In the General Field, nominees for Album Of The Year are The Emancipation Of Mimi by Mariah Carey; Chaos And Creation In The Backyard by Paul McCartney; Love. Angel. Music. Baby. by Gwen Stefani; How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb by U2; and Late Registration by Kanye West. Nominees for Record Of The Year are "We Belong Together" (Mariah Carey), "Feel Good Inc." (Gorillaz featuring De La Soul), "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" (Green Day), "Hollaback Girl" (Gwen Stefani), and "Gold Digger" (Kanye West). The Best New Artist nominees are R&B singer Ciara, rockers Fall Out Boy, Brit popsters Keane, soul singer John Legend, and country artist SugarLand.

This year's Song Of The Year nominees represent a wide cross section of genres from pop to R&B to country and rock. Nominated songwriters include Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna & Marcus Hummon for "Bless The Broken Road" (performed by Rascal Flatts); Bruce Springsteen for "Devils & Dust"; William Adams (Will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas) & J. Stephens (John Legend) for "Ordinary People" (performed by John Legend); U2 for "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"; and J. Austin, Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, & Manuel Seal for "We Belong Together" (performed by Mariah Carey).

In the Pop Field, an eclectic array of artists, across genres and generations, is represented. In the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals category the nominees are: The Black Eyed Peas & Jack Johnson for "Gone Going"; Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones for "Virginia Moon"; Gorillaz featuring De La Soul for "Feel Good Inc."; Herbie Hancock featuring Christina Aguilera for "A Song For You"; and Stevie Wonder featuring India.Arie for "A Time To Love." The Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category features Jack Johnson ("Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"), Paul McCartney ("Fine Line"), Seal ("Walk On By"), Rob Thomas ("Lonely No More"), and Stevie Wonder ("From The Bottom Of My Heart"). And Best Pop Vocal Album nominations are Extraordinary Machine (Fiona Apple), Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson), Wildflower (Sheryl Crow), Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Paul McCartney), and Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (Gwen Stefani).

Best Dance Recording nods were claimed by the Chemical Brothers featuring Q-Tip for "Galvanize"; Deep Dish for "Say Hello"; Fatboy Slim & Lateef for "Wonderful Night"; LCD Soundsystem for "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House"; Kylie Minogue for "I Believe In You"; and New Order for "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion." For Best Electronic/Dance Album, the nominations are Push The Button (the Chemical Brothers), Human After All (Daft Punk), Palookaville (Fatboy Slim), Minimum-Maximum (Kraftwerk), and LCD Soundsystem (LCD Soundsystem).

Coldplay, Foo Fighters and U2 earned top nominations in the Rock Field. All three are vying for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal with "Speed Of Sound," "Best Of You" and "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," respectively (alongside Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To" and the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done"). Best Rock Song nominees are Coldplay's "Speed Of Sound," Foo Fighters' "Best Of You," U2's "City Of Blinding Lights," Rivers Cuomo's "Beverly Hills" (Weezer) and Bruce Springsteen's "Devils & Dust." And Best Rock Album nominees are X&Y (Coldplay), In Your Honor (Foo Fighters), How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (U2), A Bigger Bang (the Rolling Stones) and Prairie Wind (Neil Young).

Half of Mariah Carey's eight nominations, six of John Legend's eight nods and all of Alicia Keys' five noms are in the R&B Field. All three artists are vying for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("Mine Again," "Stay With You" and "If I Was Your Woman," respectively) and Best R&B Song (Carey with J. Austin, Jermaine Dupri & Manuel Seal for "We Belong Together"; Legend with Will.i.am for "Ordinary People"; and Keys with Garry Glenn, Harold Lily & Kanye West for "Unbreakable"). Best R&B Album nominations are Illumination (Earth, Wind & Fire), Free Yourself (Fantasia), Unplugged (Alicia Keys), Get Lifted (John Legend), and A Time To Love (Stevie Wonder). Carey and Keys also share nods in Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for "We Belong Together" and "Unbreakable," respectively), along with Amerie ("1 Thing"), Beyoncé ("Wishing On A Star"), and Fantasia ("Free Yourself").

Half of Kanye West's eight nominations and all of Common's four nods are in the Rap Field. They both are vying for Best Rap Solo Performance ("Gold Digger" and "Testify," respectively) along with Eminem's "Mockingbird," 50 Cent's "Disco Inferno," Ludacris' "Number One Spot," and T.I.'s "U Don't Know Me." They both also are up for Best Rap Album (West's Late Registration and Common's Be) alongside The Cookbook (Missy Elliott), Encore (Eminem), and The Massacre (50 Cent). Additionally, they are nominated together (along with John Legend) in Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "They Say." Other nominees in this category are "1,2 Step" (Ciara featuring Missy Elliott), "Soldier" (Destiny's Child featuring T.I. & Lil Wayne), "Numb/Encore" (Jay-Z featuring Linkin Park), and "Rich Girl" (Gwen Stefani featuring Eve).

In Best Rap Song, 50 Cent competes against himself with "Candy Shop" (Curtis Jackson & Scott Storch, songwriters) and "Hate It Or Love It" (Curtis Jackson, A. Lyon, Jayceon Taylor and M. Valenzano, songwriters). The other nominees are J. Barry, D. Black, D. Harris & Kanye West for "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" (Kanye West); William Adams, Kalyanji, Anandji, Printz Board, Stacy Ferguson, Full Force, Indeewar & George Pajon Jr. for "Don't Phunk With My Heart" (The Black Eyed Peas); and J. Atkins, R. Davis, Missy Elliott, C. Harris, C. Hudson & G. Isaacs III for "Lose Control" (Missy Elliott featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop).

In the Country Field, Brad Paisley and Gretchen Wilson each have four nominations, with both vying for Best Country Song ("Alcohol" and "All Jacked Up," with Vicky McGehee and John Rich, respectively) and Best Country Album (his Time Well Wasted and her All Jacked Up). Nods for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals go to Brooks & Dunn, Sheryl Crow & Vince Gill for "Building Bridges"; Rodney Crowell & Emmylou Harris for "Shelter From The Storm"; Faith Hill & Tim McGraw for "Like We Never Loved At All"; Norah Jones & Willie Nelson for "Dreams Come True"; and Merle Haggard & Gretchen Wilson for "Politically Uncorrect."

Nominees in the Blues and Folk Fields reflect an interesting mix of old favorites and new voices. Best Contemporary Blues Album nominees are Make Do With What You Got (Solomon Burke), Twenty (Robert Cray), Bring 'Em In (Buddy Guy), Cost Of Living (Delbert McClinton), and Electric Blue Watermelon (North Mississippi Allstars). Nods for Best Contemporary Folk Album feature Ry Cooder's Chávez Ravine, Rodney Crowell's The Outsider, Nickel Creek's Why Should The Fire Die?, John Prine's Fair & Square, and Bruce Springsteen's Devils & Dust.

Best Gospel Song is a new category for the 48th GRAMMY Awards and features nominees Israel Houghton & Aaron Lindsey for "Again I Say Rejoice" (performed by Israel & New Breed); Yolanda Adams, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis & James Q. Wright for "Be Blessed" (performed by Yolanda Adams); Erica Campbell, Joi Campbell, Trecina Campbell & Warryn Campbell for "Heaven" (performed by Mary Mary); Joeworn Martin for "Lift Him Up" (performed by Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Choir); and James Moss for "We Must Praise" (performed by J Moss).

GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 14 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 11, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.

The 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by Cossette Productions in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions for The Recording Academy. John Cossette and Ken Ehrlich are executive producers, Walter C. Miller is producer/director, Tisha Fein is the coordinating producer, and Tzvi Small is executive in charge of production.

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