Hip-hop dominates Grammy nominations

Thursday, December 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Rap and R&B dominated the charts this year, and Grammy voters took note, nominating Beyonce, Jay-Z, OutKast and Pharrell Williams for a leading six Grammy nominations each on Thursday.

Missy Elliott, Eminem, Evanescence, 50 Cent, Chad Hugo, Ricky Skaggs, Justin Timberlake, the ailing Luther Vandross and the late Warren Zevon received five nominations each at a press conference for the 46th annual Grammy Awards.

Beyonce and her boyfriend, Jay-Z, were contenders for record of the year for their summer anthem ``Crazy in Love.'' The song was from Beyonce's first solo album apart from the Grammy-winning group Destiny's Child.

Other song of the year nominees were the Black Eyed Peas-Justin Timberlake collaboration ``Where is the Love?'', Coldplay's ``Clocks,'' Eminem's Oscar-winning ``Lose Yourself'' from his movie ``8 Mile,'' and OutKast's ``Hey Ya!''

Three of Pharrell and Chad Hugo's nominations were for their work as the production duo The Neptunes. Last year, The Neptunes received no nominations because none of the record companies that they produced songs for submitted their names.

Pharrell, whose playful falsetto has provided the hook for numerous hits the past few years, received two nominations for best rap/sung collaboration: He performed with Snoop Dogg and Uncle Charlie Wilson on ``Beautiful,'' from Snoop Dogg's album ``Paid Tha Cost to be Da Bo$$,'' and is also featured with Jay-Z on The Neptunes' single ``Frontin'.''

Pharrell also is competing against himself for best rap song for his songwriting collaboration on ``Beautiful'' and the Jay-Z song ``Excuse Me Miss.''

Album of the year contenders were Elliott's ``Under Construction,'' ``Fallen'' by Evanescence, ``Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'' by OutKast, ``Justified'' by Timberlake and ``Elephant'' by The White Stripes.

Dark rockers Evanescence were also represented in the best new artist category alongside rapper 50 Cent, the alt-pop group Fountains of Wayne, R&B singer Heather Headley and dancehall artist Sean Paul.

Artists with four nominations each included Erykah Badu, Willie Nelson, Jose Serebrier and Jack White, who had one individual nod and three for his work in his group The White Stripes.

Song of the year nominations, which go to songwriters, went to Linda Perry for Christina Aguilera's ``Beautiful,'' Richard Marx and Vandross (who suffered a stroke this year) for ``Dance With My Father'' and Avril Lavigne and the songwriting group The Matrix for Lavigne's ``I'm With You.''

Others were Jorge Calderon and Zevon for the later entertainer's reflection on mortality ``Keep Me in Your Heart.'' Zevon died from lung cancer at age 56 on Sept. 7. The songwriter nominees for ``Lose Yourself'' were Jeff Bass, Eminem and Luis Resto.

Best rap album contenders are Elliott's ``Under Construction,'' 50 Cent's ``Get Rich or Die Tryin','' Jay-Z's ``The Blueprint _ The Gift & The Curse,'' OutKast's ``Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'' and ``Phrenology'' by the Roots.

Pop stars Moby, Sarah McLachlan and Dido were among a group of musicians who announced bids for the Grammys, which will be awarded in 105 categories on Feb. 8 at the Staples Center arena in Los Angeles. The program will be broadcast live by CBS.