Beyonce leads Grammys, Taylor Swift close behind

Wed Dec 2, 2009 11:51pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Beyonce led the field of Grammy contenders with 10 nominations on Wednesday, closely followed by teen country sensation Taylor Swift with eight, and both will compete for coveted album of the year.

Hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas, R&B singer Maxwell -- making a return to the music business after an eight-year absence -- and rapper Kanye West each earned six nods.

In a list that reflected youth and a drop-off of veteran super groups like U2, glam singer Lady Gaga and rapper Jay-Z each earned five Grammy nods apiece.

Swift, 19, whose "Fearless" album is the biggest seller in the United States in 2009, will compete with Beyonce for album of the year along with the Black Eyed Peas, Dave Matthews Band and Lady Gaga, who has gone from obscurity to worldwide fame this year with her debut album "The Fame".

Both Swift, a big winner at the Country Music Association and American Music Awards last month, and Beyonce were also nominated for two other key Grammys -- record of the year and song of the year.

"Taylor is a phenomenon in entertainment," Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy told reporters. "She has really struck a chord with people. I am not surprised" at the number of nominations.

Swift has never won a Grammy, while Beyonce is a 10-time winner in her solo career and her earlier turn in the trio Destiny's Child. Her latest solo album "I Am...Sasha Fierce" produced the hit singles "Halo" and "Single Ladies".

The six nominations for multi-ethnic Los Angeles band Black Eyed Peas followed their chart-topping album "THE E.N.D", whose singles "Boom Boom Pow" and then "I Gotta Feeling" enjoyed a record-breaking 26-week run in the U.S. charts.   Continued...

<p>U.S. singer Beyonce performs during a concert at Olympic stadium in Athens, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/John Kolesidis</p>