Rap, R&B dominate Grammy nominees

Friday, December 5, 2003

— Rap and R&B have been consistent chart-toppers for the past few years, but in 2003 they took over pop music -- and on Thursday the Grammy nominations.

The year's top-selling artist: rapper 50 Cent. Two of the year's biggest hits came from R&B singer Beyonce. In October, every spot on Billboard's top 10 singles chart was held by a rap or R&B artist.

Grammy voters took notice, doling out six nominations each to Beyonce, Jay-Z, OutKast and Pharrell Williams.

"Hip-hop is at its most commercial point," Andre 3000 of the rap duo OutKast said. "It's pretty poppy, and it's popular this year."

Five nominations apiece went to Missy Elliott, Eminem, Evanescence, 50 Cent, Chad Hugo, Ricky Skaggs, Justin Timberlake, the ailing Luther Vandross and the late Warren Zevon.

Four of the five nominees for record of the year fell into the rap or R&B category: Beyonce's "Crazy in Love," "Where Is The Love," by The Black Eyed Peas & Justin Timberlake, "Lose Yourself," by Eminem and "Hey Ya!" from OutKast. The brooding rock group Coldplay's song "Clocks" was the only exception.

And rap and R&B also dominated the album of the year category: Missy Elliott's "Under Construction"; "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" by OutKast; and "Justified," from Timberlake, which had the former boy-band star reach into R&B for his first solo effort. The White Stripes' "Elephant" and "Fallen" from goth rockers Evanescence rounded out the category.

However, in somewhat of a surprise, 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," which sold more than 6 million copies, was shut out of the major categories. It was nominated exclusively for rap awards, although 50 Cent himself was nominated for best new artist, along with Evanescence, R&B singer Heather Headley, the alt-pop group Fountains of Wayne and the dancehall artist Sean Paul.

Beyonce's nominations were no real surprise -- her solo debut apart from Destiny's Child, "Crazy in Love," has sold more than 2 million copies and made her a superstar. Jay-Z's "Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse" was also a multiplatinum disc, and OutKast's highly acclaimed "SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below" was mentioned as a Grammy favorite even before its release this fall.

Nominations in top categories for the 46th annual Grammy Awards:Record of the Year: "Crazy in Love," Beyonce featuring Jay-Z; "Where Is the Love?" Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake; "Clocks," Coldplay; "Lose Yourself," Eminem; "Hey Ya!," OutKast.Album of the Year: "Under Construction," Missy Elliott; "Fallen," Evanescence; "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," OutKast; "Justified," Justin Timberlake; "Elephant," The White Stripes.Song of the Year: "Beautiful," Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera); "Dance With My Father," Richard Marx and Luther Vandross (Luther Vandross); "I'm With You," Avril Lavigne and The Matrix (Avril Lavigne); "Keep Me in Your Heart," Jorge Calderon and Warren Zevon (Warren Zevon); "Lose Yourself," J. Bass, M. Mathers and L. Resto (Eminem).New Artist: Evanescence; 50 Cent; Fountains of Wayne; Heather Headley; Sean Paul.Pop Vocal Album: "Stripped," Christina Aguilera; "Brainwashed," George Harrison; "Bare," Annie Lennox; "Motown," Michael McDonald; "Justified," Justin Timberlake.Rock Album: "Audioslave," Audioslave; "Fallen," Evanescence; "One by One," Foo Fighters; "More Than You Think You Are," matchbox twenty; "The Long Road," Nickelback.Rap Album: "Under Construction," Missy Elliott; "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," 50 Cent; "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse," Jay-Z; "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," OutKast; "Phrenology," The Roots.