Rock veterans U2 lead the field with eight nominations for the 44th annual Grammy Awards, to be handed out Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. R&B newcomer India.Arie was close behind wi

Rock veterans U2 lead the field with eight nominations for the 44th annual Grammy Awards, to be handed out Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. R&B newcomer India.Arie was close behind with seven, while fellow rising R&B star Alicia Keys and conductor Pierre Boulez snared six each. R&B vocalist Brian McKnight, roots artist Alison Krauss, and hip-hop duo Outkast earned five nominations, while "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack producer T Bone Burnett, pop vocalist Nelly Furtado, rock act Train, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, and singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams were named in four categories.

U2 is up for album of the year for "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (Interscope), song of the year for "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," record of the year for "Walk On," and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal for "Elevation." The latter two tracks will compete against each other in the best rock song category. Last year, "Beautiful Day," the lead single from "All That You Can't Leave Behind," won both song and record of the year.

Arie and Keys will face off in the best new artist category with Furtado, U.K. singer/songwriter David Gray, and hard rock act Linkin Park. Arie's "Acoustic Soul" (Motown) was the lone R&B set nominated in the album of the year field, which also includes Outkast's "Stankonia" (LaFace/Arista), Bob Dylan's "Love and Theft" (Columbia), and the various artists bluegrass soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (Mercury Nashville). Keys' six nominations include record and song of the year nods for "Fallin'."

Among the artists receiving three nominations were Ryan Adams, Aerosmith, Coldplay, Dylan, Missy Elliott, Janet Jackson, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Tim McGraw, Jamie O'Neal, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, and Trisha Yearwood.

Ja Rule is among the nominees in the newest Grammy category, best rap/sung collaboration. His collaboaration with Case on "Livin' It Up," is up against Eve and Gwen Stefani for "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," Jagged Edge and Nelly for "Where the Party At," Ludacris and Nate Dogg for "Area Codes," and Mystic and Planet Asia for "W."

Grammy Awards winners in 101 categories across 28 musical fields will be determined by the 13,000 voting members of the Recording Academy. Ballots will be mailed Jan. 11 and tabulated by the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP in February.

As previously reported, the Grammys are embroiled in controversy thanks to a recent $10 million lawsuit filed against Recording Academy President Michael Greene by American Music Awards producer Dick Clark. Clark alleges that Greene personally barred artists who appear first on the AMAs from performing on the Grammy telecast.

For a full list of nominations for the 44th Grammy Awards, visit the event's official Web site.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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