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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 18:19 GMT
Mary J Blige leads Grammys list
Mary J Blige
Blige has enjoyed huge success with her album Breakthrough
R&B star Mary J Blige leads the nominations for the 49th Grammy Awards, picking up eight nominations including record of the year for Be Without You.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have six nominations, while country trio the Dixie Chicks have five.

British acts are led by James Blunt, who also secured five nominations. Corinne Bailey Rae and KT Tunstall also feature on the shortlist.

The awards will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 11 February.

Blige, 35, is having a good year after her current album The Breakthrough sold more than six million copies worldwide.

James Blunt
James Blunt (above) - 5
Corinne Bailey Rae - 3
Arctic Monkeys - 2
Goldfrapp - 2
Imogen Heap - 2
Pet Shop Boys - 2
"That's a beautiful thing, that I'm still going," Blige said.

"The Breakthrough is about triumph, about not being a victim, but being a victor. It's about loving yourself."

While it was not nominated for album of the year, the three-time Grammy-winner was shortlisted in other key categories, including song of the year and best female R&B vocal performance.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who won their solitary Grammy in 1993, will compete for album of the year for Stadium Arcadium against the Dixie Chicks (Taking the Long Way), John Mayer (Continuum), Gnarls Barkley (St. Elsewhere) and Justin Timberlake (Future Sex/LoveSounds).

James Blunt was nominated in categories including best new artist, record of the year and best male pop vocal performance.

Competing with Blunt for the best new artist award are R&B singer Chris Brown, country singer Carrie Underwood and fellow British singers Imogen Heap and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mary J Blige - 8
Red Hot Chili Peppers
(above) - 6
James Blunt - 5
Dixie Chicks - 5
John Mayer - 5
Danger Mouse - 5
Prince - 5
Rick Rubin - 5 - 5
Gnarls Barkley were just behind Blunt with nominations for record of the year, album of the year, best alternative music album and best urban/alternative performance.

Some of British music's more venerable acts have also been recognised. The Pet Shop Boys have two nominations, while Paul McCartney, Sting, David Gilmour and UB40 all have one.

Other multiple nominees include blues singer John Mayer, Dangermouse, veteran maestro Prince, producer Rick Rubin and of the Black Eyed Peas. They all have five nominations.

Beyonce, Bryan-Michael Cox, Gnarls Barkley, Israel Houghton, TI, and Justin Timberlake receive four each.

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