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A Look at the Grammy Award Nominees - 2003-01-11

Nominations for the 45th annual Grammy Awards were announced at an all-star event in New York City on Tuesday, January 7. This year, eight different artists lead the field, receiving five nominations each in the major categories, including Record, Song and Album of the Year.

The Recording Academy invited artists of several genres and generations to announce the nominees in 104 categories for the Grammy Awards. At a press conference at New York's Madison Square Garden, newcomers John Mayer and Avril Lavigne joined rhythm and blues stars Nelly and Ashanti, as well as country's Kenny Chesney, rock diva Cyndi Lauper and 'N Sync member Justin Timberlake.

The Rising, Bruce Springsteen's anthem of hope after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, was nominated for Song of the Year, and his CD of the same name is in the running for Album of the Year. Springsteen is also a hot contender in the Rock field, for Album, Song and Male Vocal Performance.

Rapper Eminem received five nominations, including Record and Album of the Year, based on his multi-million-selling Eminem Show collection. Other five-time nominees include Ashanti, Nelly, Avril Lavigne, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and Raphael Saadiq. Country trio The Dixie Chicks also scored four nominations, including Album of the Year. Fellow country stars Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash received multiple nominations, as did rock veteran Elvis Costello, R&B's India.Arie, Chad Kroeger and his band Nickelback, and young rock singer and songwriter, Vanessa Carlton.

After years of complaints that rap and hip-hop were not fully represented at the Grammy Awards, the genre is making a strong showing for 2003. Nelly's Nellyville collection and Eminem's Eminem Show will compete for Album of the Year. Nelly comments, "It's the first time two hip-hop acts have ever been nominated for Album of the Year, and that's big. It shows there's enough room for everybody as long as we maintain our composure." Other Album of the Year hopefuls include with Bruce Springsteen, The Dixie Chicks and Norah Jones.

Norah Jones is also a contender in the Best New Artist category. She'll have some tough competition from Ashanti, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch and John Mayer. Norah's song Don't Know Why is also in the running for Record of the Year, along with Eminem's Without Me, Nelly's Dilemma, A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton and Nickelback's How You Remind Me.

The field for Song of the Year, which is awarded to the songwriter, includes Norah Jones and Vanessa Carlton again, along with Bruce Springsteen's The Rising, Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) by Alan Jackson, and Complicated by Avril Lavigne.

New York City mayor Michel Bloomberg has officially welcomed the Grammys back to the city for the first time since 1998. The 45th annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be televised live on February 23 at Madison Square Garden.