Rapper Eminem, riding high on the comeback trail after spending several years battling drug addiction, led the field of Grammy contenders on Wednesday with 10 nominations.
The 38-year-old hip-hop star will compete for the three big awards of album, song and record of the year, as well as in a host of rap categories.
Other leading nominees for the major music awards included rising R&B star Bruno Mars with seven nods, while rapper Jay-Z, flamboyant pop star Lady Gaga and country group Lady Antebellum picked up six nominations each.
Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber, mobbed by young girls everywhere as one of the hottest new commodities in the music world, led a strong international field for best new artist.
He will compete for the coveted award alongside a compatriot, rapper Drake; two British bands, Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons; and American jazz singer Esperanza Spalding.
Winners in all 109 categories will be announced during ceremonies in Los Angeles on February 13.
Rock bands were largely missing from the leading categories, as pop, hip-hop and country artists grabbed the spotlight.