Rapper Kanye West, British singer Amy Winehouse and Canadian singer Feist are among the top nominees for the Grammys in February, as the annual U.S. musical honour celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Outspoken rap star West, whose third album Graduation scored the best first-week album sales of the year, on Thursday nabbed a leading eight nominations, including for the coveted best album category.
West will compete with the Winehouse's smash sophomore release Back to Black, also nominated for best album.
Troubled British singer Winehouse, whohas become tabloid fodder in the U.K. for her personal problems, received a half-dozen nominations overall, including for best new artist and song of the year for her chart-topping trackRehab.
West's and Winehouse's album of the year competition includes the Foo Fighters for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Vince Gill's four-disc release These Days and Herbie Hancock's Joni Mitchell tribute River: The Joni Letters.
Some of this year's top pop hits will vie for record of the year, including Rihanna's Umbrella, Justin Timberlake's What Goes Around Comes Around and Beyoncé's Irreplaceable. Rounding out the category are Winehouse's Rehab and The Pretender by the Foo Fighters.
A host of recording artists were recognized with five nominations each, including the Foo Fighters, rapper Jay-Z, singer Justin Timberlake, hit performer-producer Timbaland and hip hop sensation T-Pain.
Scoring four nominations was Canadian indie darling Leslie Feist, who led a host of Canadians —including Vancouver Symphony's British-born conductor and music directorBramwell Tovey, and perennialpolka finalist Walter Ostanek ofSt. Catharines, Ont.— set to vie for Grammy gold in February.
Toronto-based Feist, whosesophomore album The Reminder spawned catchy hits such as 1,2,3,4, will compete against Winehouse for best new artist with Paramore, Taylor Swift and Ledesi rounding out the category's finalists.
McCartney, Springsteen left out of top categories
|A host of Canadians have nabbed
2008 Grammy nods, including:
Notably missing from the top categories were veterans Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, both of whom released well-received albums over the past year.
However, McCartney's nostalgic album Memory Almost Full was nominated for pop vocalalbum, while its first trackDance Tonight will compete for male pop vocal performance and his songMama Only Knowsis in the running for best solo rock vocal performance.
Springsteen'salbum Magic, which reunited theRock and Roll Hall of Famer with his E StreetBand, is among therock album nominees, while his songRadio Nowhere scorednominations forrock song and solo rock vocal performance. His track Once Upon a Time in theWestis set to compete in the rock instrumental performance category.
As customary, the U.S. Recording Academy invited a selection of nominated artists to announce the list, with singers Akon (who received four nods), Fergie (female pop vocal contender), country star Gill (duo nominee) and actor-comedian George Lopez (a comedy album finalist) helpingintroduce the nominees in Los Angeles.
A full list of nominees in 110 different Grammy categories is onthe awards'official website.
The Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Organizers have also announced a host of projects to celebrate itshalf-century anniversary, including plans to build a Grammy museum in Los Angeles.