Not only did the rapper’s album Tha Carter III go five times platinum, selling over five million copies, but on Wednesday, he was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including the prestigious album of the year honors.
And the rapper will face off against British rockers Coldplay in that category, who followed closely behind, earning seven nominations.
For the first time ever, the Grammy nominations were announced on primetime television as part of a special concert featuring performances by Christina Aguilera, John Mayer and Mariah Carey, who opened the telecast with a seasonal run through “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” The show, which was broadcast from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live also celebrated the official opening of the Grammy Museum, which will open to the public in Los Angeles on Dec. 6.
The event was cohosted by Taylor Swift – a nominee for best new artist last year – and LL Cool J.
Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West were other top Grammy nominees – each with six nods. Radiohead was nominated for five awards, as were Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, who released the collaborative album Raising Sand.
Album of the year contenders included Coldplay (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends); rapper Lil Wayne (Tha Carter III); Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Raising Sand); R&B singer Ne-Yo (Year of the Gentleman); and British alt-rock heroes Radiohead (In Rainbows).
Pop-rock trio the Jonas Brothers led the list of best new artist nominees, along with British soul singers Adele and Duffy. They will compete against country group Lady Antebellum and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. “We’re happy to be here,” Joe Jonas told LL Cool J on the live CBS telecast after receiving their good news.
CBS will broadcast the 51st Grammy Awards live from Los Angeles’s Staples Center on Feb. 8.