Ashanti leads American Music Awards nominations. The ''Foolish'' songbird gets five nods, followed by Eminem and Nelly with four apiece

In what may be a preview of the 2003 Grammy Awards, newcomer Ashanti led the list of nominees for the American Music Awards. The singer earned five nods, including recognition in both the Pop/Rock and Hip-Hop/R&B categories for Best Album (”Ashanti”) and Best New Artist. Following her were Eminem and Nelly, who have four nominations apiece, facing off against each other for Best Male Artist and Best Album in both Pop/Rock and Hip-Hop/R&B.

Other notable AMA nominees include Nappy Roots, up for Best Group and Best New Artist in the Hip-Hop/R&B category, and ”American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, whose limited recorded output has already earned her a citation for best Pop/Rock New Artist.

Dick Clark started the AMAs 30 years ago as an alternative to the Grammys; unlike those awards, picked by record industry insiders, the AMAs are driven by sales figures and listener polls. Next year’s ceremony, the 30th, will air live on ABC from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 13, about a month before the Grammys. Toby Keith, James Brown, Nelly, Justin Timberlake, and Nick Carter will appear on the show, with performers to be named later, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Nominations were announced Tuesday at a Beverly Hills press conference hosted by Clark, ‘N Sync’s JC Chasez, and seven-time AMA-winner Toni Braxton. A complete list of nominees follows:

Pop/Rock Male Artist
Enrique Iglesias

Pop/Rock Female Artist
Sheryl Crow
Celine Dion

Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group
Linkin Park

Pop/Rock Album
”Ashanti,” Ashanti
”The Eminem Show,” Eminem
”Nellyville,” Nelly
”M!ssundaztood,” Pink

Pop/Rock New Artist
Kelly Clarkson
Puddle of Mudd

Hip-hop/R&B Male Artist
Ja Rule

Hip-hop/R&B Female Artist
Mary J. Blige
Jennifer Lopez

Hip-hop/R&B Band, Duo, or Group
Nappy Roots

Hip-hop/R&B Album
”Ashanti,” Ashanti
”The Eminem Show,” Eminem
”Word of Mouf,” Ludacris
”Nellyville,” Nelly

Hip-hop/R&B New Artist
Nappy Roots

Country Male Artist
Alan Jackson
Toby Keith
Tim McGraw

Country Female Artist
Martina McBride
Jo Dee Messina
Lee Ann Womack

Country Band, Duo, or Group
Brooks & Dunn
Dixie Chicks

Country Album
”No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” Kenny Chesney
”Home,” Dixie Chicks
”Drive,” Alan Jackson
”Unleashed,” Toby Keith

Country New Artist
Kellie Coffey
Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Tommy Shane Steiner

Adult Contemporary Artist
Vanessa Carlton
Celine Dion
Five for Fighting

Latin Music Artist
Marc Anthony
Enrique Iglesias

Alternative Music Artist
Linkin Park
System of a Down

Contemporary Inspirational Artist
Jars of Clay

”Lilo & Stitch”
”The Scorpion King”