Grammy Nominations 2011: Eminem's "Recovery" Takes Center Stage

Rapper Eminem performs at Yankee Stadium Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, in New York.
AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
Rapper Eminem performs at Yankee Stadium Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, in New York.
AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) When Eminem was first nominated for Album of the Year some 10 years ago for "The Marshall Mathers LP," it marked a milestone for the Grammys as it chose to honor an album that was considered masterful in its artistry yet morally bankrupt in its values.

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On Wednesday night, the Recording Academy once again nominated Eminem for Album of the Year for "Recovery," along with nine other bids, making him the most-nominated artist going into the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

Among the other awards he's in the running for are Song of Year and Record of the Year, for his hit "Love the Way You Lie," which features Rihanna.

It's a sign of how much times, and Eminem himself, have changed that his leading nominations were not controversial, but expected and respected.

"Recovery" was a critical and commercial triumph for the rapper. It became the best-selling album of the year so far, with more than 3 million copies sold.

It also marked a stark contrast between the Eminem nominated 10 years ago and the one today. Back then, he was a stunning yet divisive figure whose violent imagery and slurs against gays and women outraged as many people as he entertained. Eminem would become one of the best-selling artists in the world and arguably rap's greatest artist, but his stature was diminished as his battle with prescription drug addiction led to lags between albums and sub-par material.

With "Recovery," an album that detailed his battles and how he overcame them, his status as the best rapper - and pop's top artist - was restored.

Bruno Mars is the artist with the second-leading tally - he earned seven nominations in all. Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum and Jay-Z came in a three-way tie for third place, earning six nominations each.