Beyonce rides to top of Soul Train nominations

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Beyonce positioned herself as the woman to beat in the 21st Anniversary Soul Train Music Awards, gathering a leading three nominations Tuesday, including one for best female album for "B'Day."

She was also up for honors for best female single, for the hit song "Irreplaceable," and for the Michael Jackson Award for best music video.

Mary J. Blige garnered two nominations, for best female R&B soul-single for "Take Me As I Am," and for best female R&B soul album for "The Breakthrough."

On the male side, John Legend, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and Yung Joc each got two nominations.

Legend, who won Soul Train Awards last year for best male album and single, was nominated in those categories again. "Once Again" was up for the best male album award, while "Save Room" was nominated for best male single.

Brown was also nominated for best male single, for "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)," and best male album for "Chris Brown." The teenager, who last year joked about fitting in studio time between basketball practice, was Soul Train's best new rap artist in 2006.

One of this year's newcomers, Ne-Yo, was nominated for best male single for "Sexy Love" and as best new artist.

Yung Joc was also nominated for best new artist and best dance cut for "It's Goin' Down."

The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley got nominations in both group categories, getting a nod for "Just Came Here to Chill" for single and "Baby Makin' Music" for best album. So did Gnarls Barkley, nominated for "Crazy" for single and "St. Elsewhere" for album.

Winners will be announced March 10 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the show will air in syndication March 17-24. The program will be co-hosted by Omarion and LeToya, who was also nominated for best female single for "Torn."

The Soul Train Music Awards, sponsored by the syndicated music show "Soul Train," celebrate artists in R&B, hip-hop and gospel music.

Winners are determined by a group of radio station professionals, talent managers and performers.

 A complete list of nominees follows.

Best R&B soul-single, female: "Irreplaceable," Beyonce; "Take Me As I am," Mary J. Blige; "Love," Keyshia Cole; "Torn," LeToya.

Best R&B soul single, male: "4 Minutes," Avant; "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)," Chris Brown; "Save Room," John Legend; "Sexy Love," Ne-Yo.

Best R&B soul single, group, band or duo: "Crazy," Gnarls Barkley; "Just Came Here to Chill," The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley; "Good Luck Charm," Jagged Edge; "Stickwitu," The Pussycat Dolls Feature Avant.

Best R&B soul album, female: "B'Day," Beyonce; "The Breakthrough," Mary J. Blige; "Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship," India.Arie; "The Makings of Me," Monica.

Best R&B soul album, male: "Chris Brown," Chris Brown; "Unpredictable," Jamie Foxx; "Once Again," John Legend; "The Evolution of Robin Thicke," Robin Thicke.

Best R&B soul album, group, band or duo: "Danity Kane," Danity Kane; "St. Elsewhere," Gnarls Barkley; "Baby Makin' Music," "The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley; "Jagged Edge," Jagged Edge.

Best R&B soul or rap new artist: "Gotcha," Lupe Fiasco; "Sexy Love," Ne-Yo; "Hustlin," Rick Ross; "It's Goin' Down," Yung Joc.

Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B soul or rap video: "Irreplaceable," Beyonce; "I Love My Chick," Busta Rhymes Features Will.i.am & Kelis; "Show Me What You Got," Jay-Z; "We Fly High," Jim Jones.

Best R&B soul or rap dance cut: "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It," Dem Franchize Boyz Featuring Lil Peanut & Charlay; "Give It Up to Me," Sean Paul; "Chicken Noodle Soup," Webstar & Young B Featuring The Voice of Harlem; "It's Goin' Down," Yung Joc.

Best Gospel Album: "Paved the Way," The Caravans; "Sounds from the Storm, Volume," Kirk Franklin; "Singing the Old Time Way Volume II," Bishop G.E. Patterson & Congregation; "The Struggle is Over," Youth for Christ.
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