Arts & Entertainment
Nominees for 8th annual Native music awards announced

The nominees for the eighth annual Native American Music Awards were announced on Tuesday, highlighting the diversity of the Native music industry.

Perennial favorites Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida), Keith Secola (Ojibwe) and Rita Coolidge (Cherokee) showed up on the list again this year. But there were plenty of newcomers too, like Blue Dog, a Lakota blues-rock group, and the Red Rhythm Band whose members are Comanche and Kiowa from Oklahoma.

"This year's nominees feature an equal mix of new artists making their debut on the national circuit as well as previous Nammy award winners and nominee," said Ellen Bello, the founder of the Native American Music Awards, also known as the Nammys. A total of 125 nominees -- five in each of 25 categories -- were announced.

Singer/songwriter Secola landed four nominations this year for "Native Americana," a blend of styles whose guests include drummer John Densmore of the Doors. Jim Boyd (Colville) and Brule (Lakota) were each blessed with four nominations as well.

Coolidge, most famous for her chart-topping hits of the 1970s, landed three nominations for "And So Is Love," a collection of blues standards. The album's producer, Jimmy Haslip, scored one nomination.

Shenandoah, Secola, Coolidge and Boyd, along with Jana (Lumbee) were nominated for the coveted Artist of the Year category. Past winners have included Shenandoah and Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo).

In the more traditional categories, Joseph Fire Crow (Northern Cheyenne) and R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo) landed nominations for Flutist of the Year. Drum favorites Black Eagle (Jemez Pueblo), White Fish Jrs (Cree) and and Tha Tribe (Haskell) are competing for Best Pow Wow Recording.

For Best Female Artist, the nominees feature two Navajo teens -- singers Kansas Begaye and Tiinesha Begaye -- and one young Navajo woman -- singer Radmilla Cody. This year's Best Male Artist picks include guitarist/vocalist Gary Small (Northern Cheyenne), singer Gil Silverbird (Cherokee) and flutist Tommy Wildcat (Cherokee).

In the R&B/Rap/Hip Hop Recording, two South Dakota artists -- Gabriel Night Shield (Rosebud Sioux) and Maniac The Siouxpernatural (Cheyenne River Sioux) -- joined rapper Shadowyze (Creek), rapper Buggin Malone (Oneida/Potwatomie) and singer Sarah Hindsley (Ojibwe/Ho-Chunk) as nominees.

This year's show is again scheduled to take place June 8 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The Seminole Tribe has hosted the event for the past two years, providing a steady home for a ceremony that has been held in Albuquerque, Connecticut and Wisconsin.

Some of the Nammy nominees have gone on to win Grammy awards. After nearly a decade of lobbying, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences added a Native American Music category in 2000.

The category at first was limited to drum groups, flutists and more traditional artists. But in recent years, the nominees have crossed genres into more contemporary styles.

Full List:
8th Annual Native American Music Award Nominees

Relevant Links:
Native American Music Awards -