The Jonas Brothers, Kanye West and John Mayer are also recognized during the primetime nominations special

By Brian Orloff
Updated December 03, 2008 10:30 PM
Bryan Bedder/Getty; Todd G/Splash News Online

Lil Wayne is having a big year.

Not only did the rapper’s album Tha Carter III go five times platinum, selling over five million copies, but on Wednesday, he was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including the prestigious album of the year honors.

And the rapper will face off against British rockers Coldplay in that category, who followed closely behind, earning seven nominations.

For the first time ever, the Grammy nominations were announced on primetime television as part of a special concert featuring performances by Christina Aguilera, John Mayer and Mariah Carey, who opened the telecast with a seasonal run through “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” The show, which was broadcast from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live also celebrated the official opening of the Grammy Museum, which will open to the public in Los Angeles on Dec. 6.

The event was cohosted by Taylor Swift – a nominee for best new artist last year – and LL Cool J.

Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West were other top Grammy nominees – each with six nods. Mayer and Radiohead were nominated for five awards, as were Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, who released the collaborative album Raising Sand.

Album of the year contenders included Coldplay (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends); rapper Lil Wayne (Tha Carter III); Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Raising Sand); R&B singer Ne-Yo (Year of the Gentleman); and British alt-rock heroes Radiohead (In Rainbows).

Pop-rock trio the Jonas Brothers led the list of best new artist nominees, along with British soul singers Adele and Duffy. They will compete against country group Lady Antebellum and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. “We’re happy to be here,” Joe Jonas told LL Cool J on the live CBS telecast after receiving their good news.

CBS will broadcast the 51st Grammy Awards live from Los Angeles’s Staples Center on Feb. 8.

Here’s a rundown of the top categories:

Album of the Year
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Coldplay
Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
Year of the Gentleman, Ne-Yo
Raising Sand, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
In Rainbows, Radiohead

Record of the Year
• “Chasing Pavements,” Adele
• “Viva la Vida,” Coldplay
• “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis
• “Paper Planes,” M.I.A.
• “Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Song of the Year
• “American Boy,” William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West, songwriters (Estelle featuring Kanye West)
• “Chasing Pavements,” Adele Adkins & Eg White, songwriters (Adele)
• “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz, songwriter (Jason Mraz)
• “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles, songwriter (Sara Bareilles)
• “Viva La Vida,” Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)

Best New Artist
• Adele
• Duffy
• Jonas Brothers
• Lady Antebellum
• Jazmine Sullivan

Pop Vocal Album
Detours, Sheryl Crow
Rockferry, Duffy
Long Road Out of Eden, Eagles
Spirit, Leona Lewis
Covers, James Taylor

Rap Album
American Gangster, Jay-Z
Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
The Cool, Lupe Fiasco
Nas, Nas
Paper Trail, T.I.

Rock Album
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Coldplay
Rock N Roll Jesus, Kid Rock
Only By the Night, Kings of Leon
Death Magnetic, Metallica
Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs

Country Album
That Lonesome Song, Jamey Johnson
Sleepless Nights, Patty Loveless
Troubadour, George Strait
Around the Bend, Randy Travis
Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, Trisha Yearwood