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Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Usher Top Grammy Nominations


Rapper Kanye West tops the list of nominees for this year's Grammy Awards. The 27-year-old newcomer received 10 nominations for the music industry honors, which were announced Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. Rhythm and blues singers Alicia Keys and Usher earned eight nominations each, and the late Ray Charles earned seven.

Kanye's West's hit recording The College Dropout is a nominee for Album of the Year, as is Genius Loves Company by the late Ray Charles and various artists, American Idiot by punk rockers Green Day, The Diary of Alicia Keys by Alicia Keys, and Confessions by Usher.

Rapper Kanye West was on hand in Hollywood for the nominations announcement, and says the recognition for the album was much more than he had hoped for.

"I just appreciate it being recognized and I'm just happy to be here," he said. "I couldn't even imagine 10 nominations in my wildest dreams. It's just overwhelming."

Kanye's West's "Jesus Walks" is a nominee for best rap song.

Singer Anita Baker helped announce the nominations in a key category.

"For record of the year, the nominees are The Black Eyed Peas for 'Let's Get It Started,' Ray Charles and Norah Jones for 'Here We Go Again,' Green Day for 'American Idiot,' Los Lonely Boys for 'Heaven,' Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris for 'Yeah!'," she said.

More than a dozen musicians were on stage to announce the nominations. With them was Kevin Spacey, the actor who portrays legendary pop star Bobby Darin in the upcoming film Beyond the Sea.

"The nominees for best actor in a supporting role… Oh no, sorry. Wrong show, sorry. Just in case you were wondering what the heck I was doing here, I'm actually loving my role as a new singer, so it's great fun," he said. "For best new artist, the nominees are Los Lonely Boys, Maroon5, Joss Stone, Kanye West, and Gretchen Wilson."

The legendary rhythm and blues artist Ray Charles died this year at 73. He earned seven posthumous Grammy nominations, for his collaborative album Genius Loves Company or for songs from the album, including "Here We Go Again" with singer Norah Jones.

The 47th annual Grammys will be presented at Staples Center in Los Angeles February 13.

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