Bruce Springsteen's album The Rising, inspired by the catastrophe of 11 September, looked strongly placed yesterday when the American music academy unveiled its nominations for this year's Grammy awards.
Nominated for five awards, including album of the year and song of the year, Springsteen joined an eclectic band of multiple nominees, ranging from Elvis Costello to Eminem by way of two American newcomers, Avril Lavigne and Norah Jones.
With nominations announced in more than 80 categories, it was difficult for any band or performer to avoid a mention in one category or another. Some bands nevertheless managed it, notably a clutch of much- ballyhooed garage bands including the Strokes, the Vines and the Hives.
The biggest triumph on the nominations list was for Jones, who has been wowing record buyers and live audiences with her debut album, Come Away With Me, and for Lavigne, who made her debut at the tender age of 18. Both received mentions for best new artist, as well as a clutch of other nominations.
Eminem was back, two years after his scabrous album The Marshall Mathers LP triggered protests outside the Grammy award ceremony but lost in the album of the year category to the altogether more anodyne Two Against Nature by Steely Dan. Yesterday he was nominated both for his albumThe Eminem Show and for the single "Without Me". This time, his inclusion in the Grammy list did not cause so much as a murmur.
Springsteen, Jones and Eminem were considered the most likely contenders in the most coveted category, best album. The other nominees rounding out that list were Nelly, for the album Nellyville, and the Dixie Chicks, the popular tongue-in-cheek countryband, for Home.
The nominations list included the usual healthy sprinkling of British acts, most notably Elvis Costello, whose album When I Was Cruel has been hailed by critics as a refreshing return to form. He was named for best rock album, best alternative music album, for his US-only compilation of live tracks and B-sides, Cruel Smile, and best male rock vocal performance.
Coldplay did slightly less well, despite the critical acclaim for their album A Rush of Blood to the Head, picking up mentions for alternative music album and best rock performance by a duo or group with a vocal for the song "In My Place".
The Grammy awards will be handed out in New York on 23 February.
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