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Record-of-the-year race a close call

Green Day, Gorillaz, Gwen Stefani in race for coveted Grammy Award
/ Source: Billboard

This year's Grammy Award nominees for record of the year collectively have logged 28 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Of the five contenders, Mariah Carey had the biggest success: Her smash ballad "We Belong Together" spent 14 weeks ruling the chart, more than any other single in 2005.

To take home an award, she will have to beat out four acts with top 20 hits. Kanye West, Green Day and Gwen Stefani have all won at least one Grammy in the past, and Gorillaz will try for its first award.

Here is a closer look at the nominees.

  • "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey: The first single from Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Island) became her 16th song to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. It was her first No. 1 since 2000, when "Thank God I Found You" featuring Joe and 98 reached the summit.

Carey told Billboard she had an early sense this song would stand out: "I had the chills. I had a great feeling about it when we finished writing the song, and I was flying back from Atlanta at some crazy hour of the morning ... But we were listening on the plane ride on the way home, and even from the demo, I really felt something special."

  • "Gold Digger," Kanye West: As the second single from West's "Late Registration" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam), "Gold Digger" quelled any fears of West hitting a sophomore slump.

The song was the closest challenger to "We Belong Together" for pure chart dominance, as it spent 10 weeks atop the Hot 100. The single gave West his second No. 1 on that chart, and, like his 2004 hit with Twista, "Slow Jamz," it features a cameo from Jamie Foxx.

"I look at voices as instruments," West told Billboard in 2005. "I wasn't going after the person or the name. I wanted the voice."

  • "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day: This is the second single from Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise) to earn a record-of-the-year nomination. The title track received a nod last year but did not win, although the trio took home a trophy for best rock album.

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in March, giving the act its first top 10 hit on the chart. Additionally, it spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart.

"American Idiot" has proved to be a steady generator of radio hits. Its five singles have all appeared on the Modern Rock chart, with "Jesus of Suburbia" currently climbing the list.

  • "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani: A song that was inescapable all summer, "Hollaback Girl" arrived on the Hot 100 at No. 82 in April and hit No. 1 six weeks later. The cut then spent four weeks at the top.

"I'm really proud of the song, because it's really fun to have a hit," Stefani told Billboard, "but a hit that kind of transcends cultural and language barriers is just extraordinary."

If it takes home a Grammy, it will not be the first time a Stefani single has earned that honor. Her duet with Eve, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," won the best rap/sung collaboration honor in 2004.

  • "Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz: The first Gorillaz cut to make the Hot 100 is the act's second to be nominated for a Grammy.

The song peaked at No. 14 on the singles tally, and was No. 1 for eight weeks on the Modern Rock chart.

"Feel Good Inc." is the cartoon act's biggest hit since "Clint Eastwood" peaked at No. 3 on the Modern Rock chart in 2001. It is still going strong, having been on the chart for more than 30 weeks.

Gorillaz's current single — "Dare," which features Shaun Ryder — has been on the rock chart since November and is hovering in the mid-20s.