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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Usher leads US music nominations
Usher's Confessions album has been a worldwide hit
R&B singer Usher leads the field for the American Music Awards, picking up four nominations.

Following closely behind are OutKast and Kanye West, who have been nominated in three categories each.

Usher's nominations include best male artist and favourite pop/rock and soul/R&B album for his worldwide best-seller Confessions.

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on 14 November.

The show will once again be presented by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

The American Music Awards (AMA) are seen as the biggest rival to the Grammys.

Last year, organisers shifted the ceremony from January to November to avoid clashing with the Grammys.

Ten recording artists have picked up two AMA nominations each, including Jessica Simpson, Prince and Sheryl Crow.

OutKast have been nominated for their highly acclaimed double album Speakerboxx/The Love Below, which has sold more than 5.3 million copies.

Public vote

The album, which showcases the individual talents of members Andre 3000 and Big Boi, collected the best album award at the Grammys.

Kanye West, a top producer as well as a recording artist, has been nominated for favourite new artist and favourite rap/hip-hop performer.

The nominees were picked by CD sales and airplay, and the winners will be chosen by a poll of 20,000 people.

Others in contention for awards are rapper Jay-Z, jazz singer Norah Jones, R&B artist Alicia Keys and country stars Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney.

Competing in the eclectic favourite male pop/rock category are Usher, Lenny Kravitz, Michael McDonald and opera crossover star Josh Groban.

But there is no room on the nomination list for last year's big winners 50 Cent and Jennifer Lopez.

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