Thursday, December 6, 2007
KANYE WEST, AMY WINEHOUSE LEAD GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
Kanye West earned eight nominations Thursday, including album of the year and rap album of the year for his "Graduation," leading the competition for the 50th annual Grammy Awards.
Amy Winehouse earned nominations in the big three categories -- album, song and record of the year.
British retro soul singer Amy Winehouse also made out well, earning six nods, including nominations for album of the year ("Back to Black"), song of the year, record of the year and best new artist.
In a surprise, Bruce Springsteen -- whose critically praised "Magic" was expected to do well -- didn't get an album of the year nomination. The competition in that category, besides West and Winehouse, includes the Foo Fighters ("Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace"), Vince Gill (the four-disc set "These Days") and Herbie Hancock ("River: The Joni Letters").
Two members of the Foo Fighters -- Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins -- as well as Gill and Hancock were on hand at Thursday's announcement to hear their names read.
Springsteen, who earned four nods, was nominated for best solo rock vocal and best rock album, among other awards.
Aside from Winehouse's "Rehab," the nominees for song of the year -- a songwriter's honor -- are "Before He Cheats" (performed by Carrie Underwood), "Hey There Delilah" (Plain White T's), "Like a Star" (Corinne Bailey Rae) and "Umbrella" (Rihanna).
Record of the year nominations went to "Rehab," Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," the Foo Fighters' "The Pretender," Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around ... Comes Around."
In addition to Winehouse, best new artist nominees are Feist, Ledisi, Paramore and Taylor Swift.
Winehouse has struggled personally since breaking into the big time in the U.S. this year. "Rehab" was no joke; the singer has coped with drug abuse allegations and ended up canceling weeks of concert dates because of "intense emotional strain," according to a statement from her promoter.
"She makes Lindsay Lohan look cool," comedian George Lopez cracked as he helped announce the nominations.
West also had great success in 2007 -- "Graduation" sold almost 1 million copies its first week out -- but he has also faced difficulty. In November, his mother died suddenly after plastic surgery at age 58.
Common ("Finding Forever"), Jay-Z ("Kingdom Come"), Nas ("Hip Hop Is Dead"), T.I. ("T.I. vs. T.I.P") and West all earned nominations for best rap album.
Peripatetic producer Timbaland, who received five nominations total, was among those receiving producer of the year (nonclassical) nominations.
Paul McCartney, whose album "Memory Almost Full" received good reviews, earned nominations for best pop vocal and best solo rock vocal.
At one point, the announcement turned into a festival of hugs, with an emotional Swift embracing many of her colleagues after hearing her name called. Grohl had fun with the idea, grabbing producer Jimmy Jam after Jam announced the Foo Fighters' album had made the album of the year list.
The 50th annual Grammys are scheduled for February 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, and the show will air on CBS.