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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 13:17 GMT
50 Cent hopes for Billboard glory
50 Cent and Madonna
50 Cent, pictured with Madonna, has been one of 2003's big stars
Rapper 50 Cent is favourite to sweep Wednesday's 2003 Billboard Awards in the US, with nominations in six categories, including best artist.

He is also in contention for album of the year for Get Rich or Die Tryin', and single of the year for In Da Club.

R&B stars R Kelly and Beyonce Knowles are competing in five categories, while reggae singer Sean Paul and female trio the Dixie Chicks have four nominations.

The awards will be presented in Las Vegas at 5pm local time (0100GMT).

They are designed to honour the year's chart-topping artists and are based on record sales and American radio play.

Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is nominated for three awards
Pop singer Justin Timberlake, who dominated the MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh last month, will be a contender in three categories, as will rapper Chingy and rock group 3 Doors Down.

Artists with two nominations include jazz artist Norah Jones, big-selling country singer Shania Twain and R&B singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash two years ago.

Rapper 50 Cent - real name Curtis Jackson - has emerged as one of the biggest new music stars of 2003 and swept the board at September's Mobo Awards with three prizes.

A protégé of Eminem, his single In Da Club, a collaboration with hip-hop star and producer Dr Dre, was a number one in the US and a top three hit in the UK earlier this year.

The album Get Rich Or Die Tryin' sold four million copies in its first two months on release in the US alone.

Last year's big Billboard winners were soul singer Ashanti - who picked up eight awards - rapper Nelly with six and rockers Puddle of Mudd with all four rock titles.

50 Cent leads Billboard shortlist
09 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Rapper 50 Cent wins Source double
14 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
50 Cent takes glory at Mobos
26 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
50 Cent wins hip hop honours
25 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Ashanti sweeps Billboard Awards
10 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


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