Clapton Tops List Of Grammy Nominations

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - Rock guitarist Eric Clapton, who turned to music to help him cope with the death of his son, received a leading nine nominations today for the 35th annual Grammy Awards.

Billy Ray Cyrus, k.d. lang, Vanessa Williams and the team of Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson joined Clapton in earning major nominations.

Seattle groups dominated the hard-rock and metal categories, with nominations going to Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

Alice, Nirvana and Pearl Jam are going against Faith No More and Guns N' Roses for best hard-rock performance. In the metal performance, with vocal, category, Soundgarden competes with Helmet, Megadeth, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails.

Nirvana ("Smells Like Teen Spirit") and Pearl Jam ("Jeremy") again go head-to-head for best rock song, along with Clapton's "Layla," "Digging in the Dirt" by Peter Gabriel, and "Human Touch," by Bruce Springsteen.

In addition, Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is up for a solo-performance Grammy for his controversial "Baby Got Back."

Nominations for record of the year honored Clapton's "Tears In Heaven," Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart," lang's "Constant Craving," Williams' "Save the Best for Last" and Dion-Bryson's "Beauty and the Beast."

Other top nominations for Clapton included album of the year for "Unplugged" and song of the year for "Tears In Heaven," written after his 4-year-old son died in a fall from an apartment window.

Also nominated for album of the year were lang's "Ingenue," Annie Lennox's "Diva," U2's "Achtung Baby," and "Beauty and the Beast" from the hit Disney movie.

In the song-of-the-year category, nominees included Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart," "Beauty and the Beast," lang's "Constant Craving," and Williams' "Save the Best for Last."

Clapton also showed up in pop and rock categories. "Tears in Heaven" was nominated for male pop vocal performance and "Unplugged" had a bid for male rock vocal performance.

An acoustic version of his classic "Layla" was nominated for best rock song. Songwriter Jim Gordon shared that nomination.

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast on CBS on Feb. 24.

Here is a list of nominees:

Record of the year: "Tears In Heaven," Eric Clapton; "Achy Breaky Heart," Billy Ray Cyrus; "Constant Craving," k.d. lang; "Save the Best for Last," Vanessa Williams; "Beauty and the Beast," Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson.

Album of the year: "Unplugged," Eric Clapton; "Ingenue," k.d. lang; "Diva," Annie Lennox; "Achtung Baby," U2; "Beauty and the Beast," various artists.

Song of the year: "Tears in Heaven," Eric Clapton; "Achy Breaky Heart," Billy Ray Cyrus; "Beauty and the Beast," Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson; "Constant Craving," k.d. lang; "Save the Best for Last," Vanessa Williams.

New artist: Arrested Development, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sophie B. Hawkins, Kriss Kross, Jon Secada.

Pop vocal, female: "MTV Unplugged EP," Mariah Carey; "Celine Dion," Celine Dion; "Constant Craving," k.d. lang; "Diva," Annie Lennox; "Save the Best for Last," Vanessa Williams.

Pop vocal, male: "Tears in Heaven," Eric Clapton; "Us," Peter Gabriel; "Black or White," Michael Jackson; "The One," Elton John; "Joshua Judges Ruth," Lyle Lovett.

Pop vocal, duo or group: "Beauty and the Beast," Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson; "I Can't Dance," Genesis; "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," George Michael and Elton John; "Diamonds and Pearls," Prince and the New Power Generation; "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough," Patty Smyth and Don Henley.

Traditional pop vocal: "Perfectly Frank," Tony Bennett; "Girl Singer," Rosemary Clooney; "Michael Feinstein Sings the Jule Styne Songbook," Michael Feinstein; "Late Night at the Cafe Carlyle," Bobby Short; "With My Lover Beside Me," Nancy Wilson.

Pop instrumental: "Tahitian Skies," The Chieftains with Chet Atkins; "Twenty Nine-Five," Bruce Hornsby-Branford Marsalis; "Cool," Bob James and Earl Klugh; "Beauty and the Beast," the Nurenberg Symphony Orchestra.

Rock vocal, female: "Ain't It Heavy," Melissa Etheridge; "Shot of Poison," Lita Ford; "It Won't Be Long," Alison Moyet; "Rockinghorse," Alannah Myles; "The Bitch is Back," Tina Turner.

Rock vocal, male: "There Will Never be Another Tonight," Bryan Adams; "Unplugged," Eric Clapton; "Life is a Highway," Tom Cochrane; "Digging in the Dirt," Peter Gabriel; "The Fire Inside," Bob Seger; "Human Touch," Bruce Springsteen.

Rock vocal, duo or group: "Free Your Mind," En Vogue; "Little Village," Little Village; "Kiko," Los Lobos; "Under the Bridge," Red Hot Chili Peppers; "Achtung Baby," U2.

Hard rock performance: "Dirt," Alice in Chains; "Angel Dust," Faith No More; "Live and Let Die," Guns N' Roses; "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana; "Jeremy," Pearl Jam; "Give it Away," Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Metal performance, with vocal: "In the Meantime," Helmet; "Countdown to Extinction," Megadeth; "N.W.O." Ministry; "Wish," Nine Inch Nails; "Into the Void," Soundgarden.

Rock instrumental: "Hound Dog," Jeff Beck and Jed Leiber; "Bring 'Em Back Alive," Dixie Dregs; "Gypsy-Grajonca," Santana; "The Extremist," Joe Satriani; "Little Wing," Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.

Rock song: "Layla," Eric Clapton; "Digging in the Dirt," Peter Gabriel; "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana; "Jeremy," Pearl Jam; "Human Touch," Bruce Springsteen.

Alternative music album: "Good Stuff," The B-52's; "Wish," The Cure; "Your Arsenal," Morrissey; "Bone Machine," Tom Waits; "Nonsuch," XTC.

Rhythm and blues vocal, female: "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Oleta Adams; "I Belong to You," Whitney Houston; "The Woman I Am," Chaka Khan; "I Love Your Smile," Shanice; "The Comfort Zone," Vanessa Williams.

Rhythm and blues vocal, male: "Humpin' Around," Bobby Brown; "Lost in the Night," Peabo Bryson; "T.E.V.I.N." Tevin Campbell; "Jam," Michael Jackson; "Heaven and Earth," Al Jarreau.

Rhythm and blues vocal, duo or group: "People Everyday," Arrested Development; "End of the Road," Boyz II Men; "I'll Be There," Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz; "Funky Divas," En Vogue; "The Best Things in Life Are Free," Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson.

Rap solo performance: "Addams Groove," Hammer; "Strictly Business," L.L. Cool J; "You Gotta Believe," Marky Mark; "Latifah's Had it Up 2 Here," Queen Latifah; "Baby Got Back," Sir Mix-A-Lot.