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Grammy Contenders: Record, Album of the Year, Rock


Music fans are anticipating the 47th annual Grammy Awards, America's highest honor for achievement in music. The live, televised ceremony will take place on February 13 in Hollywood. VOA's Bernie Bernard looks at contenders for Record and Album of the Year, as well as the nominees in the Rock categories.

This past year, San Francisco punk/pop trio Green Day scored the first Number One album in their 10-year career with American Idiot, and earned six Grammy nominations. The title track is in the running for Record of the Year, which goes to the artist and the producer. The category includes socially-conscious R&B group, Black Eyed Peas, with "Let's Get It Started," and the rap superstar trio of Usher, Lil' Jon and Ludacris with "Yeah!" Mexican-American rockers Los Lonely Boys join the category with "Heaven," along with "Here We Go Again," a duet between the late Ray Charles and 2003 Grammy sensation, Norah Jones.

The Album of the Year category also has a diverse field. Green Day's American Idiot appears once again, along with Genius Loves Company by Ray Charles and various artists. Ten-time Grammy nominee Kanye West checks in with The College Dropout, along with Usher's multi-million-selling Confessions and The Diary of Alicia Keys by the New York City R&B diva.

Turning to the rock categories, Hoobastank is in contention for Best Rock Album with The Reason, along with Green Day's American Idiot once again, and newcomers The Killers with Hot Fuss. Velvet Revolver, featuring grunge pioneer Scott Weiland places in the category with Contraband, and classic rocker Elvis Costello is in contention with The Delivery Man.

The Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category combines female and male artists, with cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge meeting her idol Bruce Springsteen, along with Ryan Adams, roots rocker Steve Earle, and pop, jazz and blues legend, Tom Waits.

Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal sees Green Day in contention again, along with Elvis Costello, The Killers, Glasgow quartet Franz Ferdinand, and Irish superstars, U2.

U2 scores again in the Best Rock Song category with "Vertigo," from their long-awaited album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Green Day's American Idiot shows up again, along with Fall To Pieces by Velvet Revolver, Float On by Modest Mouse, and The Killers' Somebody Told Me.

The Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy includes a field of veteran artists, with the Allman Brothers, Rush, Steve Vai and former Beach Boy Brian Wilson meeting younger band Los Lonely Boys.

Pioneers Metallica are a favorite in the Best Hard Rock Performance category, with competition from Incubus, Canada's Nickelback, Slipknot and Velvet Revolver.

For Best Alternative Album, it's a race between the women and men, with Iceland's Bjork in the running with Medulla and P.J. Harvey with Uh Huh Her, meeting Franz Ferdinand and their self-titled album, Good News For People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse, and Wilco's A Ghost Is Born.

Hosted by Queen Latifah, this year's Grammy Awards will include an all-star performance of The Beatles' tune "Across The Universe," which will be recorded and immediately released to raise funds for tsunami relief efforts.

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