December 8, 2005

Carey, West, Legend lead Grammy nominees

By Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comeback queen Mariah Carey, rapper
Kanye West and newcomer John Legend led the field with eight
nominations each for the Grammy Awards when the contenders were
unveiled in New York on Thursday.

Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" was nominated for best
album of the year, while the ballad "We Belong Together" made
the grade for best record of the year -- a triumph for a woman
whose career was all but written off just a few years ago.

West was also nominated in those two categories, for the
song "Gold Digger" and the hit album "Late Registration," while
his protege Legend was nominated for best male R&B vocal
performance and best new artist.

It was the second year in a row that West topped the list
of nominations -- last year he picked up 10 nods but was then
snubbed in most categories, winning only three awards.

Legend, known for his smooth soul music in the vein of
Stevie Wonder and Barry White, paid tribute to his mentor
West's "vision and creative genius."

"We love making music and we dream about these kind of
moments where we get recognized," he told CNN after nominations
were announced for the 48th annual Grammy Awards that will be
presented on February 8 in Los Angeles.

Others nominated for the coveted record of the year were
"Feel Good Inc" by Gorillaz featuring De La Soul, Green Day's
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback

The eight nominations were a vindication for Carey whose
album has been one of the biggest sellers of the year, with
worldwide sales of more than 7 million copies, according to her
Island Def Jam label. The single "We Belong Together" ruled the
Billboard Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks.

Four years ago, Carey's career hit the skids as she
released a flop movie and album. Her previous label, Virgin
Records, which had just signed her to a contract reportedly
worth $80 million, paid her $28 million to leave.

Village Voice columnist Michael Musto said there were few
surprises and no glaring omissions in the nominations.

"Kanye West was a no brainer and so was Mariah because they
always love a good come back," he said.

On the day fans of former Beatle John Lennon gathered to
mark the 25th anniversary of his murder, his former
song-writing partner Paul McCartney was nominated for best
album of the year for his latest record, "Chaos and Creation in
the Backyard."

It was a good day for three more veteran acts -- Stevie
Wonder with six nominations, Bruce Springsteen who picked up
five, and Irish rockers U2, also nominated five times including
for album of the year with "How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb,"
after winning three awards last year.

Springsteen's "Devils & Dust" was up for song of the year
-- an award for the songwriter, not necessarily the artist, as
opposed to record of the year which goes to the artist.

Others up for song of the year are Rascal Flatts' "Bless
the Broken Road," Legend's "Ordinary People," Carey's "We
Belong Together" and U2's "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your

Other artists picking up six nominations each were rap
superstar 50 Cent and R&B diva Beyonce Knowles, while Missy
Elliot, Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani took five each.

Stefani's "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." was the final nominee
for album of the year.

The top female awards look to be another run off between
Carey and Stefani, who staged a surprise upset at the American
Music Awards last month when she was named favorite female
pop/rock artist over the hotly tipped Carey. The two will be up
against American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow and
Bonnie Raitt for best female pop vocal performance.

50 Cent's huge selling album "The Massacre" was nominated
for best rap album in a hotly contested category where nominees
also included "Be" by Common, "The Cookbook" by Missy Elliot,
Eminem's "Encore" and West's "Late Registration."

The full list of nominees can be seen at