RnB singer Mary J Blige and iconic rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers lead the chase for next year's Grammy Awards after receiving eight and six nominations respectively.

Britain is strongly represented in the US music industry's flagship awards ceremony, with singer James Blunt getting five nods, while there are nominations for Corinne Bailey Rae and KT Tunstall as well.

Earlier this week Blige was the big winner at the Billboard music awards when she took home nine gongs.

But she faces stiff competition from other artists picking up more than one nomination, including the Dixie Chicks (five), Beyonce, Gnarls Barkley and Justin Timberlake (all four).

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy that is responsible for the Grammies, said that the nominations reflected a "diverse and vibrant community of music makers".

"Once again, the Grammy awards process has delivered a well-rounded group of excellent nominees," he added.

The 49th Grammy awards will be held in Los Angeles on February 11th 2007.

Key Grammy award nominationsAlbum of the year
Taking the Long Way  Dixie Chicks
St Elsewhere  Gnarls Barkley
Continuum  John Mayer
Stadium Arcadium  Red Hot Chili Peppers
FutureSex/LoveSounds  Justin Timberlake

Record of the year
Be Without You  Mary J Blige
You're Beautiful  James Blunt
Not Ready to Make Nice  Dixie Chicks
Crazy  Gnarls Barkley
Put Your Records On  Corinne Bailey Rae

Best new artist
James Blunt
Chris Brown
Imogen Heap
Corinne Bailey Rae
Carrie Underwood

08/12/2006 10:20:26