Jay-Z leads nominees for 2014 Grammys

LOS ANGELES - Veteran rapper Jay-Z topped nominees for the 2014 Grammys announced Friday with nine nods, while Taylor Swift and Daft Punk were also among those in the running in major categories.

Close behind with seven nominations apiece were California hip hop star Kendrick Lamar and rapper Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, as well as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams, while rapper Drake scored five.

In the coveted Record of the Year category songstress Swift's "Red" will compete with French electro duo Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's "The Heist," Lamar's "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" and Sara Bareilles "The Blessed Unrest."

Record Of The Year candidates are Daft Punk & Williams' ubiquitous "Get Lucky," New Zealand teenager Lorde's "Royals," "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons, Hawaiian crooner Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," made infamous by Miley Cyrus' twerking at the MTV Video Music Awards show.

Shortlisted for Song of the Year -- for songwriters, as opposed to performers -- were "Just Give Me A Reason" sung by Pink Featuring Nate Ruess; "Locked Out Of Heaven" sung by Bruno Mars; "Roar" sung by Katy Perry; "Royals" sung by Lorde, and "Same Love" sung by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was also nominated for Best New Artist, up against James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves and Ed Sheeran.

The nominees in key categories were announced during an hour-long concert at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

The 56th annual Grammys show -- music's version of the Oscars -- will be held on January 26 at the Staples Center.