As predicted, it's shaping up to be Mary J. Blige's year. Blige led the pack of Grammy Award contenders with eight nominations -- including record and song of the year for "Be Without You" -- announced earlier today in Los Angeles. On Monday the singer collected nine trophies at the Billboard Music Awards and last month earned two at the American Music Awards.
Mysteriously, Blige's "The Breakthrough," which has sold more than six million copies worldwide and marked a major comeback for the R&B veteran, was not nominated for album of the year. Competing for that coveted honor are rock survivors the Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Stadium Arcadium"), controversial country trio the Dixie Chicks ("Taking the Long Way"), pop troubadour John Mayer ("Continuum"), rap-pop duo Gnarls Barkley (St. Elsewhere"), and Justin Timberlake ("FutureSex/LoveSounds").
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, which has won only two Grammys in its nearly quarter-century career, followed Blige with six nominations. Earning five nominations each were British singer-songwriter James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks, Prince, producer Rick Rubin, Black Eyed Peas, producer Danger Mouse, and film composer John Williams.
The 49th annual awards show will be broadcast live on Feb. 11.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.