Kelly and Jay-Z top hip-hop

NEW YORK: Singer-songwriter R Kelly tops the list of finalists for the Billboard-American Urban Radio Networks R&B/ Hip-Hop Awards with eight nominations. Kelly’s nominations include top R&B/hip-hop artiste, R&B/hip-hop artiste-male and R&B/hip-hop single for “Step in the Name of Love”. Jay-Z has seven nominations, including top artiste, top male artiste and R&B/ hip-hop album for ‘The Black Album’. Beyonce, Alicia Keys and OutKast each have five nominations.

Billboard announced the finalists Friday. The annual awards show is set for August 6 in Miami Beach, Florida. It will conclude the Billboard-AURN R&B/Hip-Hop Conference, which begins August 4. The awards honour the genres’ most popular albums, songs, artistes and contributors as determined by sales data from Nielsen SoundScan and radio airplay information from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. Finalists and winners reflect the performance of recordings on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop and rap charts during a one-year period from the May 31, 2003, issue through the May 22, 2004, issue. — AP