*To say Lil Wayne is having a big year is an understatement. And to underscore how big a year he's having, Wednesday evening the diminutive rapper from New Orleans was nominated for a whopping 8 Grammys, including album of he year for "Tha Carter III." Rock band Cold Play was close behind, scoring seven nods.
This year the announcements of the 51st Grammy nominations were made public within a new format. They were part of an hourlong live prime-time CBS concert special hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift.
While Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" was not regarded by critics as his greatest CD, it was the album that made him a pop superstar, thanks to massive hits like "Lollipop" and "A Milli," noted AP writer Sandy Cohen. it also got a lot of attention because it was the only record this year to sell 1 million copies in its first week.
Meanwhile, artist and songwriter/producer Ne-Yo didn't do too badly either. When all was said and done, he wound up with six nominations for his "Year of the Gentleman."
"When I was putting it together, I was trying to do something that everybody could get into, as opposed to just my pop and R&B core group," Ne-Yo said after the ceremony. "I was trying to do something that the world could enjoy and I think that the Grammy people paid attention to that."
Also nominated was new singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, who has drawn comparisons to Lauryn Hill with her hit "I Need You Bad." She scored an impressive five nominations.
Other multiple nominees included Jay-Z and Kanye West, who had six each.
For a complete list of nominees, visit the Grammy Awards website: www.grammy.com.
Normally the nominations are announced during a morning news conference. But because award shows in general are losing their edge, NARAS, the organization behind the Grammys and CBS decided to put on the prime-time event.
The show kicked off with past Grammy winner Mariah Carey singing a song from her classic Christmas album, decked out in a short red minidress to give some holiday cheer. Held at the Nokia Theatre, the show also celebrated the Saturday opening of the new Grammy Museum next door.
The Grammy Awards telecast itself will be held on CBS on Feb 8 from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles next door to the Nokia Theater.