Rapper Lil Wayne, defying the trend of an industry in retreat by selling 1 million copies of his third album, “Tha Carter III,” in a single week last July, was rewarded with a field-leading eight Grammy Award nominations tonight, including album of the year.
Lil Wayne galvanized rap fans in the months leading up to the album’s release with a seemingly never-ending series of mix tapes distributed over the Internet, pointing the way toward new methods of generating excitement at a time when consumers’ overall enthusiasm toward the record industry’s offerings continues to erode.
Recording Academy voters who decide on nominated artists and recordings, while taking the position that Grammy recognition does not hinge on sales or chart position, nonetheless heaped the most nominations on acts that continued to sell solidly and chart high during 2008. They include Coldplay, which collected seven nods, and Jay-Z, Kanye West and Ne-Yo, tied with six apiece. The rappers benefited from their many collaborations in categories dominated by recordings featuring guest performers
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