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Thursday, December 6, 2007

West, Winehouse Lead Grammy Nominee Field

December 06, 2007, 12:15 PM ET
A Billboard staff report

Kanye West leads the field for the 50th annual Grammy Awards with eight nominations, followed by Amy Winehouse with six and the Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and T-Pain, each of whom received five nods.

Nominations were announced this morning (Dec. 6) in Los Angeles; the Grammys will be handed out Feb. 10 at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

Winehouse's "Rehab" and the Foo Fighters' "The Pretender" were nominated for record of the year, while their "Back to Black" and "Echo, Silence, Patience & Grace" will vie for album of the year.

For record of the year, the additional nominees are Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," Rihanna's "Umbrella" featuring Jay-Z and "What Goes Around ... Comes Around" by Justin Timberlake. Other album of the year nominations went to West ("Graduation"), Vince Gill ("These Days") and Herbie Hancock ("River: The Joni Letters").

"Umbrella" and "Rehab" also garnered nods for song of the year, as did Corinne Bailey Rae for "Like a Star," Plain White T's' Tom Higginson for his band's "Hey There Delilah" and the team behind Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats."

"Can someone wake her up around six and tell her?" said comedian George Lopez when announcing Winehouse's nominations, poking fun at the singer's recent troubles.

In the best new artist category, Winehouse appears yet again, along with Feist, Paramore, Taylor Swift and Ledisi. Bruce Springsteen has three nominations in rock categories, while Tim McGraw leads the country field with four.

When a clearly overwhelmed Swift was announced as a nominee for best new artist, she approached the podium and hugged Foo Fighters members Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, starting a trend. From then on, anyone who got a nomination proceeded to hug each other.

There were a number of eclectic nominees in the best alternative album field, which includes Lily Allen's "Alright, Still," the Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," Bjork's "Volta," the Shins' "Wincing the Night Away" and the White Stripes' "Icky Thump."

In the film-related categories, "Babel" (composer: Gustavo Santaolalla), "Blood Diamond" (James Newton Howard), "The Departed" (Howard Shore), "Happy Feet" (John Powell), "Pan's Labyrinth" (Javier Navarrete) and "Ratatouille" (Michael Giacchino) will vie for best score soundtrack album.

The nominees for best original motion picture, television or other visual media song are Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder for "Guaranteed" from "Into the Wild," Siedah Garrett and Henry Krieger's "Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls," Prince's "The Song of the Heart" from "Happy Feet" and Chris Cornell and David Arnold's "You Know My Name" from "Casino Royale."

iTunes is partnering with the Grammys this year to provide samples of the nominated songs in a password-protected area, presumably for voters to listen to the songs.