NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Records artists received ten nominations in nine categories in the 47th Grammy Awards, it was announced today in Los Angeles. Acknowledging the accomplishments of the label's roster, Virgin Records Chairman and CEO Matt Serletic said: "Virgin has always been a place of musical daring and risk-taking. These Grammy-nominated Virgin artists continue to break exciting new musical ground."
Ben Harper's international smash collaboration with gospel icons The Blind Boys of Alabama, There Will Be a Light, was nominated for two awards: Best Gospel Performance for the title track, and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. From the same album, Harper received an individual nomination for his acoustic guitar solo, "11th Commandment" in the Best Pop Instrumental category. Harper was a featured performer on two songs from 2002's Grammy-winning film soundtrack, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, but today's nominations are Harpers' first.
Five-time Grammy winner Janet Jackson's latest album, Damita Jo, spawned two nominations, in Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the track "I Want You," and for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
N.E.R.D., the progressive-minded incarnation of 2003 Producers of the Year Grammy winners the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) with co-member Shay, took a nomination this year for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the track "She Wants To Move," from the second N.E.R.D album, Fly or Die. The same track's dance version also won a nomination for remixers Basement Jaxx in the Best Remixed recording category. (N.E.R.D.'s Pharell, in his guest shot with Snoop Dogg on the current Number One smash, "Drop It Like It's Hot," also earned a nod in the Best Rap Performance by a Duo Or Group, and both Williams and Hugo were nominated for Best Rap Song for co-writing with Snoop.)
Two of pop's most valued veterans also drew Grammy nominations. Guitar legend Johnny Winter was nominated in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for I'm a Bluesman, his first new album in eight years. Rock icon Iggy Pop's "Motor Inn" joined N.E.R.D in the Best Remixed Recording for the dance version remixed by Felix da Housecat.
In addition, one of the most celebrated albums of the 1980s, Roxy Music's Avalon, was nominated for Best Surround Sound Album for engineering by Bob Clearmountain, mastering by Bob Ludwig and production by Rhett Davies.
Source: Virgin Records