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2001 Grammys

Despite Eminem verse, Grammys are diverse

From 'N Sync to Steely Dan, a wide range of nominees

Controversial rapper Eminem is up for four Grammys, including album of the year. He's scheduled to perform with Elton John -- and is expected to inspire protests
Controversial rapper Eminem is up for four Grammys, including album of the year. He's scheduled to perform with Elton John -- and is expected to inspire protests  

(CNN) -- A night of diverse musical entertainment is in store for the 43rd Grammy Awards on Wednesday.

The event, put on annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to honor the best in music over the past year, will be highlighted by performers from varying backgrounds and genres: new country star Shelby Lynne and R&B divas Destiny's Child; DJ/songwriter Moby and boy band 'N Sync; country queen Faith Hill and pop queen Madonna.

You want diverse? While the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Organization for Women plan to protest the volatile lyrics of controversial rapper Eminem outside the event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Eminem will perform with Elton John -- a supporter of gay rights -- inside.

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    "The Grammy tent is pretty big," Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene said on Grammy.com. "You know, [artists like] Amy Grant and Snoop Dogg are both under that tent, and we like that. The more this organization can promote cross-pollination between genres, that's one of our jobs."

    Another job for The Recording Academy is to pick what it believes is the best of the best. Again, the 2001 line-up stresses artists from multiple genres.

    Twenty-six artists were nominated for at least three Grammys, with a leading five nominations going to Dr. Dre and Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles. Four nods went to the rest of the Destiny's Child crew, producer/songwriter LaShawn Daniels, Eminem, country mainstay Vince Gill, producer/songwriter Rodney Jerkins, Sisqo, R&B singer Joe and arranger/conductor Vince Mendoza.

    Vying for record of the year are Destiny's Child for "Say My Name," Macy Gray for "I Try," Madonna for "Music," 'N Sync for "Bye Bye Bye," and U2 for "Beautiful Day."

    Battling it out with Dr. Dre for producer of the year are Bill Bottrell, Nigel Godrich, Jimmy Jam-Terry Lewis, and Matt Serletic.

    Eminem, who dominated the MTV Music Awards last year despite -- or perhaps because of -- controversy surrounding his lyrics and who recently pleaded guilty to a weapons charge, is up for album of the year for his multi-platinum "The Marshall Mathers LP." He'll have competition from Beck for "Midnite Vultures," Radiohead for "Kid A," Paul Simon for "You're the One," and Steely Dan for "Two Against Nature."

    Best new artist nominees are Shelby Lynne, Brad Paisley, Papa Roach, Jill Scott and Sisqo.

    The Grammy Awards are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS. It will be hosted by Jon Stewart. A total of 100 categories -- a new high for The Recording Academy -- will be honored, though most of those will be handed out before the televised event.

    WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT EMINEM

     

    The days leading up to the event have been a flurry of rehearsals from scheduled performers, and a flurry of hype.

    Some scheduled musical numbers will feature five-time Grammy winner Madonna riding on stage in a Cadillac to perform "Music," a medley performance of "Independent Women Part 1" and "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child, and who knows what from Eminem.

    He showed up at the MTV Music Awards in September with an army of look-alikes, performed his his raucous hit "The Real Slim Shady," and walked off with a video of the year award.

    Eminem is scheduled to perform his song, "Stan," at the Grammys. "Stan" is one of the milder songs on "The Marshall Mathers LP," telling the fictional story of an Eminem fan who ties up his pregnant girlfriend, stuffs her in the trunk of the car and drives off a bridge in a murder-suicide pact.

    While critics have lambasted songs like that for their content, soul legend Stevie Wonder said it was his favorite song on the album.

    "I think that it's very visual ... I think that it's very real," he said.

    An overview of other major categories:

    Ten years after winning the Country Music Association's Horizon Award as best rising talent -- and after bolted the major labels to have greater control over her career -- country singer Shelby Lynne is up for best new artist
    Ten years after winning the Country Music Association's Horizon Award as best rising talent -- and after bolted the major labels to have greater control over her career -- country singer Shelby Lynne is up for best new artist  

    Best rock album nominees: "Crush" by Bon Jovi, "There Is Nothing Left to Lose" by the Foo Fighters, "Mad Season" by Matchbox Twenty, "Return of Saturn" by No Doubt, and "The Battle of Los Angeles" by Rage Against the Machine.

    Best alternative album nominees: "When the Pawn" by Fiona Apple, "Midnite Vultures" by Beck, "Bloodflowers" by the Cure, "Liverpool Sound Collage" by Paul McCartney, and "Kid A" by Radiohead.

    Best R&B album contenders: "Nathan/Michael/Shawn/Wanya" by Boyz II Men, "The Heat" by Toni Braxton, "Voodoo" by D'Angelo, "My Name Is Joe" by Joe, "Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1" by Jill Scott, and "Unleash the Dragon" by Sisqo.

    Best country album possibilities: Vince Gill's "Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye," Faith Hill's "Breathe," Alan Jackson's "Under the Influence," Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance," and Trisha Yearwood's "Real Live Woman."

    Reuters contributed to this report.



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