Santana’s legend was born at the original Woodstock, where skinny guitarist Carlos Santana and his Latin-rhythmed ensemble blew the already blown minds of Yasgur’s farm-goers back in 1969. Three decades later, Carlos himself may not be as svelte, but his band’s career is certainly as sturdy. Today, Santana, with a little help from their friends (the band’s 1999 offering Supernatural features guest performances by Lauryn Hill, Everlast, Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas and many others), garnered a whopping ten Grammy nominations — more than twice as many as top sellers the Backstreet Boys — to lead the field for the 42nd annual awards show.
R&B divas TLC were no scrubs themselves, grabbing six nominations to tie them for the second most nods with classical conductor Pierre Boulez. Others who have high hopes for Feb. 23, when the Grammys will be doled out at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, include hip-hop hero Hill, country darlings the Dixie Chicks and Emmylou Harris, and pop giants Whitney Houston and the aforementioned Backstreet Boys, each of whom grabbed four nominations.
Record of the Year, the biggie Grammy, is a multi-generational melting pot, with Santana’s “Smooth,” TLC’s “No Scrubs,” the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and Cher’s “Believe” battling it out.
The Album of the Year category finds Santana pitted against TLC (Fan Mail), the Dixie Chicks’ (Fly), jazz vocalist Diana Krall (When I Look in Your Eyes) and the Backstreet Boys (Millennium).
Teen queens Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera found their way into the Best New Artist category, alongside the critics’ darlings Macy Gray and Susan Tedeschi, and the not-so-new Kid Rock.
The complete list of Grammy nominees is at www.grammy.com.