Alicia Keys, the 20-year-old hip-hop star who made a big splash this year with her debut album, scored five American Music Award nominations on Tuesday, easily outdistancing her nearest rivals.
Ten acts, including late R&B singer Aaliyah, country star Tim McGraw and boy band ‘N Sync, picked up two nominations each, organizers said.
The awards, now in their 29th year, will be handed out on Wednesday, Jan. 9, during a ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. ABC will broadcast the event that night.
Winners are determined by a national survey of about 20,000 Americans, who choose from a list of top acts compiled from retail sales and radio airplay data. The more prestigious Grammy Awards, which take place in February, are voted on by music industry insiders.
With her soulful blend of blues, soul and modern R&B stylings, Keys has been hailed as one of the most promising new arrivals on the music scene this year. Her debut album, “Songs In A Minor,” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. pop album charts, selling 3 million copies since its June release. It also has been a big seller internationally.
“This year has been such an unexpected surprise, it’s a dream come and I am at a loss for words,” Keys said in a statement issued by her J Records label.”
Keys was nominated for favorite new artist and favorite female artist in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. “Songs In A Minor,” will compete for favorite soul/R&B album.
The other musicians with two nominations each are: country acts Brooks & Dunn and Lonestar; R&B artists Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson and R. Kelly; reggae star Shaggy; and mellow rock group the Dave Matthews Band.
Thirty-five acts, including Irish rockers U2 and Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, landed one nomination each.