Louisiana rapper Lil Wayne garnered the most Grammy nominations, receiving eight, and British alternative rock band Coldplay grabbed seven as the Recording Academy announced this year's nominees Wednesday.
Lil Wayne and Coldplay were both nominated for the prestigious album of the year award for the 51st annual Grammy Awards. Nominations were announced during a star-studded primetime concert special Wednesday night.
Rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West and R&B crooner Ne-Yo, received six nominations each. Alison Krauss, John Mayer, Robert Plant, Radiohead and newcomer Jazmine Sullivan received five each.
Nominees in six categories were announced during the show, which aired on CBS. Mayer, Mariah Carey, the Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift performed for the event. See a list of some of the prominent nominees »
In some ways, it's an odd time for the industry to celebrate. CD sales have plunged in the last few years, and music downloads, which continue to rise, have yet to fill the gap. With concert ticket prices often well above $50 a pop and wildly fluctuating gasoline prices, musicians are feeling the pinch. Watch how the music industry is dealing with the times »
"It's deeply affected touring artists because one thing that's happening in the last couple of years is that people don't buy records as much, so the income has dropped drastically for artists," singer Sheryl Crow told CNN. iReport: What's the best music you heard in 2008?
Record labels are struggling with piracy from consumers and direct marketing by artists. Radiohead, for example, offered its last album, "In Rainbows," as a direct download before putting it out on CD.
But former music producer and self-described artists' rights advocate Moses Avalon said the music business -- and music in general -- isn't doing as badly as some observers say.
"I don't think the music industry is doing badly. I know that's the common thought. It's doing badly from the point of view from people who went from making tens of millions a year to now making a few million a year, and for them it probably feels like a financial Armageddon," he told CNN.
"But for the vast majority of recording artists, managers and producers who are people who make a decent living just like anyone else, just like any other professional -- to them, things are pretty much as they've been."
Avalon said sales are down only in the short term. In the long term, the music business has continued to grow, he said.
"One has to remember also that when people say sales are down sales are down compared to what? Compared to the year 2004? Yeah. Sales are down compared to the year 2004," he said. "But sales are up compared to the year 1991. So what are we talking about? We're talking about trends ebbs and flows of business, which are natural to all businesses."
Besides, he added, there's always a desire for music. It's just the form that it takes shellac 78s, vinyl LPs, CDs, Internet downloads, audio blasts through sites like Last.fm or MySpace that always changes.
"People always buy music no matter what. It can even be argued that economic hardship increases the need for music and entertainment," he said.
The 51st annual Grammy Awards is scheduled to air on February 9, 2009.