"We Are the World," the all-star recording project that has raised millions for famine relief in Africa, did even better than expected in the 28th annual Grammy nominations by the 6,000 members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
Nominations for the single--which features such stars as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Richie and Cyndi Lauper under the group title of USA for Africa--as best record and best song were virtually assured. But the best album nomination for "We Are the World" LP was a surprise. The hastily assembled collection consists largely of previously recorded, but unreleased songs by various artists.
The awards for this year's competition, which covers records released between Oct. 1, 1984, and Sept. 30, 1985, will be presented Feb. 25 in a nationally televised ceremony originating from the Shrine Auditorium. The nominations were announced Thursday.
Another surprise in the pop-rock balloting, which leaned as usual toward mainstream best sellers, was the dominance of the English band Dire Straits. The group and leader Mark Knopfler, who sings, writes and co-produces, received the highest number of pop nominations--eight. Previously, Knopfler and his band were nominated only twice--in 1979. Its hit single, "Money for Nothing," is up for best record and best song, while its "Brothers in Arms" is a best-album nominee.
The Manhattan Transfer, the acclaimed jazz vocal quartet, picked up six nominations in connection with its album "Vocalese." The album also resulted in nominations for guest singers Jon Hendricks and Bobby McFerrin, and guest sax player James Moody and trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie.
David Foster, who produces, arranges, conducts and composes, was nominated in six categories. Phil Collins, Tina Turner and Sting had five nominations each, while Don Henley and Huey Lewis had four each.
Madonna, who became one of the biggest stars in the business during 1985, was snubbed. Her "Like a Virgin" album, which sold six million and included four Top Five singles, was ignored. Her only nomination was a pop vocal nod for her "Crazy for You" single from the "Vision Quest" sound track. Another superstar, Prince, who won three Grammys last year, was shut out except for "Prince and the Revolution Live" in the long-form video category.
Competing with "We Are the World" and "Money for Nothing" for record of the year are Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" and Huey Lewis' "The Power of Love."
The best-album nominees, along with "We Are the World" and "Brothers in Arms," are Phil Collins' "No Jacket Required," Whitney Houston's debut, "Whitney Houston," and Sting's "The Dream of the Blue Turtles." (Springsteen's album, "Born in the U.S.A."--which has passed the 10-million mark in sales--was nominated last year for best LP, but lost to Lionel Richie's "Can't Slow Down.")
In the best song category, the writers of "We Are the World" (Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) and "Money for Nothing" (Knopfler and Sting) will vie with Don Henley and Mike Campbell ("The Boys of Summer"), Foreigner's Mick Jones ("I Want to Know What Love Is") and Daryl Hall, who wrote Paul Young's hit "Every Time You Go Away."
The competitors for best new artist are Freddie Jackson, Sade, Katrina and the Waves, Julian Lennon and the group A-Ha. Whitney Houston was ineligible because of two duet singles released before the eligibility period.
Madonna's competition in the best female pop vocal category are Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner, last year's winner. For best male pop vocal, the nominees are Sting, Paul Young, Glenn Frey, Phil Collins and Stevie Wonder.
In the classical competition, producer Robert E. Woods earned seven nominations, while conductor Robert Shaw received five.
Record academy president Mike Greene said that a Grammy committee is working this week to settle on presenters and performing artists for the Feb. 25 show.
Following is a partial list of nominees in the 28th annual Grammy Awards.
Record: "Born in the U.S.A.," Bruce Springsteen. "The Boys of Summer," Don Henley. "Money for Nothing," Dire Straits. "The Power of Love," Huey Lewis and the News. "We Are the World," USA for Africa.
Album: "Brothers in Arms," Dire Straits. "The Dream of the Blue Turtles," Sting. "No Jacket Required," Phil Collins. "We Are the World," USA for Africa. "Whitney Houston," Whitney Houston.
Song: "The Boys of Summer," Don Henley and Mike Campbell. "Every Time You Go Away," Daryl Hall. "I Want to Know What Love Is," Mick Jones. "Money for Nothing," Mark Knopfler. "We Are the World," Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
New Artist: A-Ha, Freddie Jackson, Katrina and the Waves, Julian Lennon, Sade.
Female Pop Vocal: "Crazy for You," Madonna. "Lush Life," Linda Ronstadt. "Saving All My Love for You," Whitney Houston. "We Belong," Pat Benatar. "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," Tina Turner.