50 Cent dominates the field of finalists for Billboard’s third annual R&B/Hip-Hop Awards with mentions in 10 categories, including top R&B/hip-hop album, top R&B/hip-hop single, and top R&B/hip-hop artist. The Aug. 8 awards ceremony at Miami’s Jackie Gleason Theater will close the fourth annual Billboard/American Urban Radio Networks R&B/Hip-Hop Conference.
Close behind 50 Cent are Nelly, who is up for eight awards, and R. Kelly, who is a finalist in seven categories. Also up for multiple honors are Eminem (five) and the late Aaliyah (four).
50 Cent has been making chart headlines since the February release of his first Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” With a tally now at 4.8 million copies sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the album debuted atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and The Billboard 200 with 872,000 copies sold. That figure remains the best week for any album in the U.S. this year.
The rapper’s CD/DVD follow-up, “The New Breed,” also debuted at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally. It has sold 460,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Nelly is another contender for top R&B/hip-hop album and top R&B/hip-hop artist. His album “Nellyville” (Fo’ Reel/Universal/Universal Motown Records Group [UMRG]) has sold 5.7 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“This is really a blessing,” Nelly says of his multiple honors. “It’s hard to believe that we [the St. Lunatics] are still receiving nominations for this album.”
Jive/Zomba artist R. Kelly is vying for top R&B/hip-hop album award as well. He is also up for top songwriter and top producer. His “Chocolate Factory” album stands at 1.8 million copies sold. “I am honored and appreciate my fans who have always supported me and my music,” Kelly says.
First-time finalists include Amerie (for top new R&B/hip-hop artist and top R&B/hip-hop female artist) and Nivea (for top R&B/hip-hop single [sales] for “Don’t Mess With My Man”).
Alicia Keys and Usher topped the winners list during last year’s awards ceremony. Keys earned four accolades; Usher picked up three.
The Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards comprise 17 categories. They are based on sales data from Nielsen SoundScan and airplay information from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. Finalists, and the eventual winners, reflect the performance of recordings on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop and rap charts for the 12 months ending with the issue dated May 24.
For a full list of finalists, click here.