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RAPPER KANYE WEST LEADS GRAMMY NODS

 

After enduring hard times in their personal lives, rapper Kanye West and Amy Winehouse enjoyed a measure of good news Thursday (Dec 5), as they earned a total of 14 Grammy nominations between them.

 

Winehouse, whose continued troubles with substance abuse have turned her into a tabloid regular, picked up six nods, including album of the year (Back to Black), song of the year and record of the year ("Rehab"), and best new artist.

 

Though Winehouse was the only performer to appear in all four of the most prestigious categories, she fell short of drawing the most nominations. That distinction went to the rap star Kanye West, who led the field with eight nominations, including his third for album of the year for the latest CD in his college-themed trilogy, “Graduation.” West’s nominations also included those for best rap album and two of the five slots in the best rap song field, “Good Life” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

 

Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and T-Pain were among the other top earners – each with five nominations. Meanwhile. Akon and Rihanna were among the nine artis who earned four nominations each.

 

The nominations came as the event’s organizer, the National Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences, is aiming to add weight to the ceremony, which over the years has come under fire for hewing too closely to the music industry’s commercial priorities. Grammy organizers already have undertaken an effort to create a historic feel for the event, including the broadcast of a two-hour special on CBS last week, “My Night at the Grammys,” spotlighting past performances, and the creation of a seven-CD series collecting Grammy-winning songs from the major genre fields.

 

Though the academy did not disclose who might be performing on the broadcast, critics expect it to use the 50th anniversary as a rationale to enlist any number of high-wattage past Grammy stars. Such drawing power might be pivotal if the academy hopes to sustain its recent ratings rebound and attract mainstream viewers who might otherwise find some of this year’s top nominees too obscure. After a weak showing two years ago, according to Nielsen Media Research, the Grammy broadcast jumped roughly 18 percent in last year’s ratings, drawing an estimated 20 million people.

 

CBS will broadcast the 50th Grammy Awards live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

 

 



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