Kanye West, Alicia, Usher Lead Grammy Noms

12/07/2004 at 12:25 PM EST

Kanye West, Alicia, Usher Lead Grammy Noms
Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Usher
Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com; Thomas Lau/TLP; Tsuni/Gamma

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

Kanye West

Kanye West

Usher

Usher

Rap innovator and newcomer Kanye West topped the list of Grammy nominees with 10 nods, including album of the year and best new artist, the Recording Academy announced Tuesday morning in Los Angeles.

Alicia Keys and Usher each earned eight, while the legendary Ray Charles, who died in June, garnered seven, followed by the surprise good showing of punk rockers Green Day, with six, and Norah Jones, Loretta Lynn, Prince, and engineer Al Schmitt with five.

West's debut album, The College Dropout, had been praised by critics for avoiding such typical rap subjects as sex and violence in favor of genuine social problems, as could be found in his single, "Jesus Walks" – which is up for song of the year.

In that category, West (who collaborated with C. Smith) will be competing with John Mayer for "Daughters"; Alicia Keys for "If I Ain't Got You"; Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman for "Live Like You Were Dying" (performed by Tim McGraw); and Daniel Estrin and Douglas Robb for "The Reason" (performed by Hoobastank).

Album of the year nominees are the all-star Genius Loves Company by Ray Charles and various artists; the punk rock opera American Idiot by Green Day; The Diary Of Alicia Keys; Confessions, by Usher; and West's The College Dropout.

In the record of the year contest: "Let's Get It Started" (the Black Eyed Peas), "Here We Go Again" (Ray Charles & Norah Jones), "American Idiot" (Green Day), "Heaven" (Los Lonely Boys), and "Yeah!" (Usher).

Usher had been favored to be the leading nominee, thanks to his megahit single "Yeah!" and his Confessions album, which has sold more than 7 million copies and spawned four hit singles.

The Grammys will air live on CBS Feb. 13 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Here's a rundown of the top categories:

Album of the Year
Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles
American Idiot, Green Day
The Diary of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys
Confessions, Usher
The College Dropout, Kanye West

Record of the Year
• "Let's Get It Started," Black Eyed Peas
• "Here We Go Again," Ray Charles and Norah Jones
• "American Idiot," Green Day
• "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys
• "Yeah!" Usher

Song of the Year
• "Daughters," John Mayer
• "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys
• "Jesus Walks," Kanye West and C. Smith
• "Live Like You Were Dying," Tim McGraw (written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman)
• "The Reason," Hoobastank (written by Daniel Estrin and Douglas Robb)

Best New Artist
• Los Lonely Boys
• Maroon 5
• Joss Stone
• Kanye West
• Gretchen Wilson

Pop Album
Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles
Feels Like Home, Norah Jones
Afterglow, Sarah McLachlan
Mind, Body & Soul, Joss Stone
Brian Wilson Presents Smile, Brian Wilson

Rap Album
To The 5 Boroughs, Beastie Boys
The Black Album, Jay-Z
The Definition, LL Cool J
Suit, Nelly
The College Dropout, Kanye West

Rock Album
The Delivery Man, Elvis Costello and the Imposters
American Idiot, Green Day
The Reason, Hoobastank
Hot Fuss, The Killers
Contraband, Velvet Revolver

Country Album
Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn
Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw
Tambourine, Tift Merritt
Be Here, Keith Urban
Here for the Party, Gretchen Wilson

R&B Album
My Everything, Anita Baker
I Can't Stop, Al Green
The Diary of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys
Musicology, Prince
Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds, Vol. 2, Jill Scott

Electronic Music/Dance Album
Creamfields, Paul Oakenfold
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, Prodigy
Kish Kash, Basement Jaxx
Legion of Boom, Crystal Method
Reflections, Paul Van Dyk

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