The Grammy nominations were announced (in a whopping 107 categories) this morning (instead of the calendar year, the eligibility period for these awards includes discs released from October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005) and George W. Bush’s favorite rapper, Kanye West, is one of three leading the decidedly mainstream (no surprise there) pack with 8 nominations. West’s protégée John Legend and comeback queen Mariah Carey also picked up 8 nods each.
West’s Late Registration and Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi are in the running for Album of the Year along with Gwen Stefani’s bubbly solo debut Love, Music, Angel, Baby, Paul McCartney’s much-lauded Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (the token non-platinum seller in this category as well as the token veteran comeback that could have also gone to the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, or Neil Young), and perennial nominees U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
The Record of the Year competition features Carey (“We Belong Together”), West (“Gold Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx), and Stefani (“Hollaback Girl”) along with Green Day (“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”) and Gorillaz (“Feel Good Inc.” featuring De La Soul.)
Ciara, Fall Out Boy, Keane, and Sugarland will be runners-up to probable winner John Legend (with 8 nominations, they’re gonna give the guy something…the Grammys are like that more often than not) in the Best New Artist race.
Other folks with four or more nominations include Stevie Wonder (always a Grammy favorite), Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, 50 Cent, Destiny’s Child, Gretchen Wilson, Common, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Brad Paisley, and The Black Eyed Peas.
There’s not really any point in decrying the Grammy voters giving the nods in major categories to (mostly) mainstream, (mostly) multi-platinum sellers…that’s what they do (and they’re apparently okay with that.)
Sprinkled in amongst the many, many categories are nominations for less-mainstream artists such as The White Stripes, Beck, Solomon Burke, Maria Muldaur, Daft Punk, Ry Cooder, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Emmylou Harris.
And perhaps the most eclectic group of nominees is in the Spoken Word Album category which features Air America host Al Franken, Prairie Home Companion creator Garrison Keeler, legendary cranky comedian George Carlin, prickly Oscar winner Sean Penn (reading Bob Dylan’s Chronicles), and US Senator Barrack Obama.