Echos of 'Idol' among nominations


"American Idol" made its mark again. The 2005 "Idol" winner, Carrie Underwood, is up for two Grammys, including new artist, and how about KT Tunstall, nominated for "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," which "Idol" contestant Katharine McPhee sang on the show before Tunstall cracked U.S. radio? Then there's male pop vocal nominee Daniel Powter, whose "Bad Day" was seared into American brains as the goodbye ode to losing "Idol" contestants.

Who writes this stuff?

Bob Dylan was nominated in the contemporary folk album category and Bruce Springsteen picked up a nod in the traditional folk category, leaving us with this conundrum: The "old" Dylan is contemporary, while the "new" Dylan is traditional. Who was it that sang "The first one now will later be last"?

Full of beauty?

The "please-make-it-stop" song of 2006 is James Blunt's "You're Beautiful." Just ask him: At his Coachella gig in April, the singer muttered, "Here's that song that everyone hates ... "

Help Wanted (Now!)

The Dixie Chicks aren't the only ones who know how to stir the pot. Neil Young's "Living With War" album attacking President Bush earned three nominations, two for the take-that tune "Looking for a Leader."

President's Day

This year's presidential spoken-word nominee? Jimmy Carter, for "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," along with albums by Bob Newhart, Bill Maher, Al Franken and Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee. Hmm, Bob Newhart for president, anyone?

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