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West, Winehouse lead Grammy nominations
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US hip hop star Kanye West led the list of Grammy nominations announced here on Thursday, collecting eight nods, followed by the troubled British singer Amy Winehouse with six. (For a complete list of 50th Grammy Awards nominations, please click here.)

Hip hop artist Kanye West (L) and British pop singer Amy Winehouse are seen in this combination photo. West scored a leading eight nominations for the 50th annual Grammy Awards, while Winehouse followed with six Grammy bids.

Kanye West topped the nominations with eight, Amy Winehouse garnered six, and the Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and T-Pain each earned five nods.

Talented Chinese pianist Lang Lang, 25, also received a nomination for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) for his eighth album "Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4", on which he collaborates with world famous conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The album debuted at No.1 on Billboard's Top Classical Albums chart. The award will go to the instrumental soloist(s) and to the conductor.

The press event was held at The Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood and was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives. Artists who helped announce the nominations included Akon, Fergie, Vince Gill, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) Herbie Hancock, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam, George Lopez, Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) and Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift and Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow

Both West and Winehouse were nominated for the major album of the year category, along with rock band Foo Fighters, country veteran Vince Gill and jazz musician Herbie Hancock.

Winehouse, a favorite of British tabloids for alleged substance abuse and eating disorders, recently canceled a slate of concerts for health reasons, while West was dealing with the recent death of his mother, who was found unconscious in her Los Angeles home the day after undergoing cosmetic surgery.

West is up for album of the year for "Graduation," while Winehouse earned the nod for "Back to Black." Foo Fighters were nominated for "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," Gill for "These Days" and Hancock for "River: The Joni Letters."

Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl

Winehouse also earned nods for best new artist, along with record and song of the year nominations for "Rehab."

Other nominees for best new artist include Taylor Swift, Paramore, Ledisi and Feist.

Other record of the year contenders are Beyonce for "Irreplaceable," Foo Fighters for "The Pretender,"  Rihanna featuring Jay-Z for "Umbrella" and Justin Timberlake for "What Goes Around... Comes Around."

Those who will be battling Winehouse for song of the year honors are Carrie Underwood for "Before He Cheats," Plain White T's for "Hey There Delilah," Corinne Bailey Rae for "Like a Star" and Rihanna featuring Jay-Z for "Umbrella."

"This year's nominations truly reflect a diverse and talented community of artists and creators. They represent some of the most exceptional music of the year," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The Grammy Awards process once again has yielded a comprehensive group of excellent nominees and coupled with the fact that it's our milestone 50th year, this year's telecast promises music fans a spectacular show filled with stellar performances and unique 'Grammy Moments' for which Music's Biggest Night has come to be renowned."

Mike Shionda of Linkin Park

Nominations for the 50th annual Grammy Awards were announced Thursday morning at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater in Hollywood by the Recording Academy. The awards will be presented on February 10 at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Grammy ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on December 12 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by January 9, 2008, where they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.

The 50th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 10, 2008, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live on CBS.

(Xinhua News Agency, December 7, 2007)

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