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Coldplay, Sean Paul, Cher Among Grammy Contenders - 2004-01-31

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will honor the best in music at the 46th annual Grammy Awards on February 8 in Los Angeles. Recording Academy members voted in more than 100 categories, covering all genres of music. VOA's Bernie Bernard tells us about the nominees for Record and New Artist of the Year, as well as the hopefuls in the dance and rock categories.

British band Coldplay is the first band to win the Best Alternative Grammy for two years in a row. Their melodic hit Clocks is in contention for the 2004 Record of the Year Grammy. Also in the running is R&B duo OutKast, who have been at the top of the Billboard magazine chart for several weeks with Hey Ya! Rounding out the Record of the Year category is Crazy In Love, a hit for Destiny's Child member Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z, along with the Black-Eyed Peas and 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake's duet, Where Is The Love as well as rapper Eminem's Lose Yourself, from the soundtrack to his film, 8 Mile. OutKast, Beyonce and Jay-Z have six nominations each, with Justin Timberlake close behind with five. From Arkansas, alternative band Evanescence is nominated in the Best New Artist category, but they'll have some tough competition from rapper 50 Cent, whose debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' landed on top of the 2003 year-end chart, with sales of more than six million copies. Other hopefuls in the Best New Artist category include New Jersey pop band Fountains of Wayne, R&B diva Heather Headley and Jamaican reggae dancehall artist Sean Paul.

It's divas and DJs competing for the Best Dance Recording Grammy. Veteran performer Cher is in the running with Love One Another, as is Madonna's Die Another Day from the James Bond film of the same name. Come Into My World by Australia's Kylie Minogue is also in the category, along with Easy by Groove Armada and Breathe by French electronica trio Telepopmusik.

The younger generation of female rockers dominates the Best Female Rock Vocal category, with Pink's Trouble running head-to-head with Michelle Branch's Are You Happy Now, and Canadian Avril Lavigne's Losing Grip. Blues rocker Bonnie Raitt makes a showing with Time of Our Lives, along with pop and folk singer Lucinda Williams and Righteously.

In contention for the Male Rock Vocal Grammy Award, it's legendary artists such as Bob Dylan with Down in the Flood, and David Bowie with New Killer Star. Guitar rocker Lenny Kravitz is in the field with If I Could Fall In Love, along with Tom Waits and Return of Jackie And Judy. Dave Matthews, who released his first solo album in 2003, rounds out the Male Rock Vocal category with Gravedigger.

Alternative duo The White Stripes received critical acclaim this past year in both the U.S. and European press. Their tune Seven Nation Army is up for the Best Rock Song Grammy, along with Calling All Angels by Train, Disorder In The House by the late Warren Zevon with Bruce Springsteen, Nickelback's Someday and Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. Evanescence appears again in the Best Rock Album category for their CD Fallen, along with Nickelback's The Long Road, More Than You Think You Are by Matchbox Twenty, One By One by Foo Fighters and Audioslave's self-titled album.

The Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal could go to a sentimental favorite. Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Train and The White Stripes have proved themselves on the charts and in the concert halls, but the team of Warren Zevon and Bruce Springsteen could take home the trophy. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2002, singer and songwriter Warren Zevon fought to record one more album. His final effort, The Wind, was released two weeks before his death last September. The Grammy Awards ceremony will included a live, three-hour worldwide telecast.