Perhaps it is possible to have both critical and commercial success — if you’re Kanye West, that is.
On Tuesday (December 7), he scored 10 Grammy nominations — more than anyone else — for his album The College Dropout, his single “Jesus Walks” and his production work for other artists throughout 2004.
Among West’s noms: Dropout was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album, while “Jesus Walks” scored a nod for Song of the Year. “You Don’t Know My Name,” the song he produced for Alicia Keys, was nominated for Best R&B Song. West also landed a nomination for Best New Artist.
For West, who had loudly voiced his displeasure for being shut out at the American Music Awards in November (see “Usher, Outkast Clean Up; Kanye Strikes Out At American Music Awards”), the recognition from the Recording Academy might feel like sweet vindication. But he seemed to take it all in stride.
“Any time I’m nominated in the same category as Usher, I expect to lose. Usher is like Johnnie Cochran — you expect him to win,” he joked. “Also, I’m so glad the Outkast album [came out] last year.”
Still, he plans on taking home some golden trophies come awards night.
“I wrote my Grammy speech four years ago, in my head, when I was taking the train from Newark to Baseline [Studios, in New York].”
Following close behind West was the dynamic duo of Keys and Usher, who each scored eight nominations — both were nominated for Album of the Year, and their duet, “My Boo,” received nods for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
“I’m really excited. It’s been a really incredible year, a really inspiring year,” Keys, who will perform at the awards ceremony, told MTV News. “[But] my main focus is to really, really, really bring it home with a performance that night, so that’s what my sights are set on. Two years ago [when Keys won five Grammys] was an amazing time for me, and once again, here we are, and it’s even more incredible.”
The late, great Ray Charles landed seven nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for his final release, Genius Loves Company. Revitalized punkers Green Day — 10 years after their first Grammy nominations for their album Dookie — saw their American Idiot album land six nods, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance. Norah Jones, Prince and Loretta Lynn each scored five nominations each.
The Black Eyed Peas capped off a big year of their own, earning four nominations, including Record of the Year, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance by a Duo for their single “Let’s Get It Started.” They’ll be looking to take home their first Grammys, just like a trio of first-time rock noms: Las Vegas glam-rockers the Killers (Best Rock Album for Hot Fuss, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Somebody Told Me”), Scottish fashionistas Franz Ferdinand (Best Alternative Music Album for their self-titled debut, and Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal and Best Short Form Music Video for “Take Me Out”) and indie stalwarts Modest Mouse (Best Alternative Music Album for Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Best Rock Song for “Float On”).
The nominations were announced on a packed stage at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater in Hollywood by presenters that included West, Joss Stone, the Black Eyed Peas and Hoobastank. The 47th annual Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on February 13.