LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Eminem, riding high on the comeback trail after spending several years battling drug addiction, led the field of Grammy contenders on Wednesday with 10 nominations.
The 38-year-old hip-hop star will compete for the three big awards of album, song and record of the year, as well as in a host of rap categories.
Other leading nominees for the major music awards included rising R&B star Bruno Mars with seven nods, while rapper Jay-Z, flamboyant pop star Lady Gaga and country group Lady Antebellum picked up six nominations each.
Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber, mobbed by young girls everywhere as one of the hottest new commodities in the music world, led a strong international field for best new artist. He will compete for the coveted award alongside a compatriot, rapper Drake; two British bands, Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons; and American jazz singer Esperanza Spalding.
Winners in all 109 categories will be announced during ceremonies in Los Angeles on February 13.
Rock bands were largely missing from the leading categories, as pop, hip-hop and country artists grabbed the spotlight.
Indie Montreal-based band Arcade Fire will fly the flag for the rock genre in the album of the year race. Its third release, “The Suburbs,” will vie for the Grammys’ top honor with Eminem’s “Recovery,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster” and pop singer Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”
Songs nominated for record of the year, a category that honors the artist and the producer, were “Nothin’ On You,” by rapper B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars; “Love The Way You Lie,” by Eminem featuring R&B singer Rihanna; “F*** You,” by funk singer Cee Lo Green; “Empire State Of Mind,” by rapper Jay-Z & R&B singer Alicia Keys; and “Need You Now,” by Lady Antebellum.
Three of those songs — Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” Green’s “F*** You” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” — were also cited for song of the year, a songwriter’s award. The field was rounded out by “Beg Steal Or Borrow” performed by singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne, and “The House That Built Me,” performed by country singer Miranda Lambert.
Grammy voters love to reward artists making career comebacks, especially if they have overcome an addiction or other personal setbacks along the way, and Eminem fulfills those criteria.
The rapper, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, went almost five years between studio albums. He spent much of his time holed up in his Detroit home battling an addiction to prescription medication, and nearly died of a methadone overdose in 2007.
Eminem returned to the limelight in May 2009 with “Relapse,” one of the biggest sellers of the year. It also won two Grammys in January, bringing his career tally to 11.
He returned in June this year with “Recovery,” which spawned two chart-topping singles, “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie.” The latter tune revolved around a dysfunctional relationship and struck a chord with women, a demographic hitherto underrepresented among Eminem’s fan base. It spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart during the summer.
He has never won the album of the year award, and famously lost the race in 2001 to an unheralded album by veteran rock duo Steely Dan.
Bruno Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, reached the top of the Hot 100 with “Just the Way You Are” in September, days after he was arrested on a cocaine charge in Las Vegas. The song marked his first charting single as a lead artist and it spent four weeks at No. 1. He previously went to No. 1 in May as the featured artist on B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You.”
Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Peter Cooney