NEW YORK – Mariah Carey's comeback came full circle Thursday as she was nominated for eight Grammys, including album of the year for "The Emancipation of Mimi" and song and record of the year for her torch ballad "We Belong Together."
"This year has been such a blessing," Carey told The Associated Press shortly after the nominations were announced. "This is prayers answered. I'm grateful for the nominations and I'm really grateful for the fact that people are responding to the music I've made."
Carey's eight nominations tied John Legend and Kanye West. Soul crooner Legend's nominations included best new artist, while West is up for album of the year for "Late Registration" and record of the year for "Gold Digger."
Fast Facts: Grammy Nominees
"I feel incredible," said Legend, a West protege whose debut "Get Lifted" was a million-seller. "You put a lot of expectations into what you want the record to be."
Other multiple nominees included 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani, U2 and Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen was among the surprises -- his "Devils & Dust" was nominated for song of the year, along with Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road," Legend's "Ordinary People," Carey's "We Belong Together" and U2's "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own."
Perennial Grammy favorite U2 was nominated for five awards, including album of the year for "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb." Besides Carey and West, other nominees in the category were Stefani's kitschy solo debut, "Love. Angel. Music. Baby," which mined 80s pop, and Paul McCartney's "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard," which earned his best reviews in years. The ex-Beatle's nomination came on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's killing.
Besides "We Belong Together" and "Gold Digger," record of the year nominees included the Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc." featuring De La Soul, Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."
Carey's many nominations helped put an exclamation point on her amazing year. Her career had been languishing, and some insiders doubted whether the multi-octave singer could return to her multiplatinum ways after a series of debacles, including an emotional breakdown and being bought out of her Virgin Records contract.
"The Emancipation of Mimi" proved the skeptics wrong. Not only has it sold more than 4 million copies, making it the No. 2 best-selling album of the year, but it included one of the year's most popular songs with "We Belong Together."
"It really is all about giving thanks, in my opinion," said Carey, who helped announce the nominations.
"Hollaback Girl" was also among the year's most popular songs, and it helped Stefani garner five nominations. Stefani's "Love. Angel. Music. Baby" was her debut apart from No Doubt and helped establish her as a solo superstar.
Stevie Wonder also received multiple nominations. Releasing his first album in 10 years, "A Time to Love," he was nominated for six awards, including best R&B album.
50 Cent, who had the year's best-selling album with "The Massacre," was nominated for six awards, including best rap album, but none in major categories.
One of the big snubs: Coldplay, who's "X&Y," one of the year's biggest albums with hits like "Fix You," was shut out of the album, song and record of the year categories. But the group was nominated for rock album of the year.
Two rock acts were nominated in the best new artist category along with Legend: Fall Out Boy and Keane. Also nominated was R&B songstress Ciara and the country trio Sugarland.
The Grammys will be handed out in Los Angeles on Feb. 8.