Completing the trifecta of the big three categories, Beyonce topped the nominations for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, with 10 total nods, including Album of the Year for "I Am...Sasha Fierce," Record of the Year for "Halo" and Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)."
Taylor Swift also received nominations in the top three categories: Album of the Year for "Fearless," and Record of the Year and Song of the Year, alongside co-writer Liz Rose, for "You Belong With Me" en route to a total of eight nominations. The Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell and Kanye West each received six nominations. In a surprising omission, Whitney Houston received no nominations for her highly rated comeback 'I Look To You."
"I've been throwing out my trash and buying my milk and living in basic obscurity," Maxwell said of his nominations, which came after an eight-year hiatus from recording music. "I feel like I've already won. I'm grateful beyond words...but I won't be going away anymore."
The Album of the Year nominees are Beyonce's "I Am...Sasha Fierce," the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D.," Lady Gaga's "The Fame," Dave Matthews Band's "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King" and Taylor Swift's "Fearless."
The Record of the Year nominees are Beyonce's "Halo," the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody," Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me."
Song of the Year nominees are "Poker Face" by songwriters Lady Gaga & RedOne, "Pretty Wings" by Hod David & Musze, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" by Thaddis Harrell, Beyonce Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, "Use Somebody" by Caleb, Jared, Matthew and Nathan Followill and "You Belong With Me" by Liz Rose & Taylor Swift.
Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill said the band was thrilled to received seven nominations over two years for their album "Only By the Night" and said they don't anticipate touring anymore for the album "unless we win four Grammys this year, then we'll be back."
The Song of the Year nominees seemed to correlate very much with chart success in 2009; all of the songs nominated in the category reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100; four of the songs peaked in the top four of the chart.
Up for Best new Artist are a diverse group of acts that includes country group the Zac Brown Band, R&B singer Keri Hilson, dance-pop duo The Ting Tings and alternative bands MGMT and Silversun Pickups.
The Best Rock Album nominees are "Black Ice" by AC/DC, "Live From Madison Square Garden" by Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, "21st Century Breakdown" by Green Day, "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King" by the Dave Matthews Band and "No Line on the Horizon" by U2.
Best Rap Solo Performance nominees are Drake for "Best I Ever Had," Eminem for "Beautiful," Jay-Z for "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)," Kid Cudi for "Day 'N' Nite" and Mos Def for "Casa Bey." After the nominations show, Drake said he's still working on the album, with an anticipated release date of March.
Best Country Performance by a duo or group with vocals are Brooks & Dunn, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland. "I think it's exciting for country music right now, she's brought a lot of young people into the genre," Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles said of Taylor Swift. "When I was 20 years I was playing clubs and learning how to drink Jim Beam and Coke. Very different."
As ever, there were a couple offbeat nominations among the 109 categories nominated for the 52nd Grammy Awards; Johnny Depp, for instance, is nominated in the category of Best Album Notes, alongside Douglas Brinkley, for "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - Music From The Film."
The complete list of nominees can be found at Grammy.com.
The "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" featured performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Sugarland, Nick Jonas & The Administration and Maxwell. Presenters included George Lopez, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, T-Pain, Dwight Yoakam, Smokey Robinson and Ringo Starr. LL Cool J hosted the show and opened the evening with a rap that included lyrical references to the top songs of the year.
In order to qualify for a Grammy nomination this year, the eligibility period for releases was from Oct. 1, 2008 - Aug. 31, 2009 -- one month shorter than the typical eligibility period. According to the Recording Academy, this change was done to accommodate an earlier Grammy Awards show during the awards-heavy first few months of the year. The 52nd Grammy Awards will be held on Jan. 31 and telecast on CBS.
"The world is pretty fluid, so things happen in any given year you might not expect," said Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy. "There were a number of events stacking up...and we felt this was a better night. Next year will be another year, another set of circumstances."
This was the second year major Grammy nominations were unveiled on a primetime television special; last year the telecast earned 7.15 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.
Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.