Nominations: Two, including best female country vocal performance for her second album, Carnival Ride.
Avoiding the Dreaded Sophomore Slump: “‘Is there really anywhere to go but down?’ There was that fear in my head,” the 24-year-old told Billboard. “Then we started picking songs and I realized it was more [about] making an album for myself. … Whatever happens, it’s icing on the cake.”
Next Up: Underwood and Keith Urban co-headline the Love, Pain amp the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride tour, which kicks off Jan. 31.
Nominations: Eight for his third album, Graduation, including album of the year and rap album.
Hitting His Groove: “It’s, like, easy flowing now,” the 30-year-old rapper told Nightline. “When I go into the studio right now, I know something incredible is going to come out. I’m just in that zone.”
Next Up: He’s not giving up rap, but West is taking acting classes, has plans for a clothing line, is creating a TV comedy and is getting to his longtime girlfriend, Alexis Phifer.
Nominations: Six for her sophomore album, Back to Black, including album of the year.
Based on a True Story: “All the songs are about the state of my relationship at the time with [now husband] Blake Fielder-Civil,”
the 24-year-old told Rolling Stone. “He laughs about it now. But I don’t think it’s funny. I wanted to die.”
Next Up: After Fielder-Civil was jailed in November, Winehouse canceled the rest of her 2007 tour dates.
Nominations: Four for his debut album, Daughtry, including best pop performance by a duo or group.
Job Upgrade: “[Touring is] a lot of work,” Daughtry, 28, has said. “There’s more to it than just fun and games. But at the same time, a bad day on this job is better than a good day I had at any other one of my jobs.”
Next Up: Daughtry will open for Bon Jovi on the U.S. leg of their tour, which runs from February through April.
Nomination: One, for best new artist for her self-titled debut disc.
Happy Birthday to Me “I’m star-struck,” said Swift, who turned 18 Dec. 13, after her hugging spree at the nominations podium a week earlier.
Next Up: Swift is recording a second album that will be released in 2008.
Nominations:” Five, including record of the year and best male pop vocal performance for “What Goes Around Comes Around.”
Being a ‘Pop Star’ and Loving It: “Pop is short for popular, so I don’t think you can be too sad about being in that category,” Timberlake, 26, told Barbara Walters.
Next Up: Having just wrapped his FutureSex/LoveSounds world tour, Timberlake has more time to produce music (he’s recently worked with Duran Duran and Madonna), grow his label (Tennman Records), film the upcoming Mike Meyers film The Love Guru and spend time with girlfriend Jessica Biel.
Nominations: Four, including song of the year for “Umbrella,” from her third disc, Good Girl Gone Bad
On Her Naughty Album Title: “It’s like, ‘This is me. This is what I’m doing. I don’t care if you like it or not,’ ” Rihanna, 19, told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s a bad girl’s attitude.”
Next Up: She’s also thinking about starting a fashion line, telling Teen Vogue she wants to design clothing, swimsuits and lingerie.
Nominations: Five, including record of the year and album of the year for Echoes, Silence, Patience amp Grace.
The Best of Foo: “When you get acknowledged for what you do, it feels pretty good,” Dave Grohl, 38, told the Associated Press of the nomination. “It’s amazing.”
Next Up: Their world tour kicks off Jan. 16.
Nomination: One, best female pop vocal performance for her song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
On Being Nominated: “I’m honored,” Fergie, 32, told the Associated Press. “For me, this is most prestigious award that I could have been nominated for because it’s about the vocal, and it was a very personal time, so I’m thrilled.”
Next Up: The recently engaged Fergie (to Josh Duhamel) has a second solo album in the works for 2008 with the help of fellow Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am, who also executive produced The Dutchess.
TIM MCGRAW & FAITH HILL
Nominations: Four for McGraw; one for Hill. The husband and wife duo, both 40, nabbed a nomination for best country collaboration with vocals for “I Need You,” off his album Let It Go.
One-on-One Time: “When I’m doing my record, I want to feel like I’m sitting down in a chair facing somebody, telling you how I feel,” McGraw told Entertainment Weekly, “and every now and then, without getting too preachy, telling you how you feel.”
Next Up: McGraw told EW that politics may be in his future – he might run for Tennessee governor when he’s closer to 50.
Nominations: Two, including record of the year for the hit “Irreplaceable” from her second solo disc, B-Day.
“Irreplaceable” Strikes a Chord: “It’s a celebration of a breakup and makes women feel like they’re worth more,” the 26-year-old girlfriend of Jay-Z told Entertainment Weekly. “I’d never had so many women say that they’d put on the record [to help them] not pick up the phone and take him back.”
Next Up: In addition to keeping busy with her clothing line, House of Deréon, Knowles is working on her third solo album.