He had one of the biggest opening sales weeks of 2008, and now, Lil Wayne is the year's most-nominated Grammy contender.

Wayne and his latest LP, Tha Carter III, lead the pack with a total of eight nominations, while one of the year's other biggest sellers, Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, garnered seven nods. Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West each earned six nods, while Alison Krauss, John Mayer, Robert Plant, Radiohead and Jazmine Sullivan received five each. Adele is up for four — including Best New Artist — as are Lupe Fiasco and T.I.

The 51st annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS this coming February 8. But you might have thought — perhaps just for a second — that the awards were held Wednesday night.

Instead, what aired on CBS on Wednesday night was a well-produced, one-hour live concert special, hosted by two-time Grammy winner LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, and it was the first of its kind in Grammy history.

In the past, nominees were revealed in the wee hours of the morning, during a simulcast that aired across several television networks' morning programs — it was a ratings booster not just for one channel, but a handful. This year, CBS wanted the nominations all to themselves, so Wednesday night's prime-time program felt more like an awards show instead of a press conference. Held inside Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre, it was even given a fancy name — "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" — and doubled as the launch of the new Grammy Museum, located right next door.

Adding to the awards-show flavor of the evening we were granted almost immediate reactions from the nominees themselves. After Ne-Yo revealed that the Jonas Brothers had been nominated — along with Brit Adele, Welsh singer Duffy, R&B chanteuse Jazmine Sullivan and country outfit Lady Antebellum — in the Best New Artist category, LL ambushed them in the audience for an interview.

How did Kevin Jonas feel about garnering his first Grammy nod? "Incredible. I don't know what to do. ... I'm a little shaken up."

"I can't stop smiling," gushed Nick Jonas. "We're honored to be in a category with such amazing artists," Joe Jonas added, humbly.

The evening kicked off with a sultry Mariah Carey, doing a jazzy version of "Please Come Home for Christmas," and delicately tossing small teddy bears into the audience while trying to navigate in a red micro-mini. Later, Janice Ian's "At Seventeen" was performed by Céline Dion, who then quickly shifted gears from performer to presenter, unveiling the Album of the Year contenders: Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III, Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand, and Radiohead's In Rainbows.

The performances continued throughout the evening. The Foo Fighters tackled Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," putting their own unique rock twist on it. Then, frontman Dave Grohl announced the nominees for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. Alicia Keys and John Mayer got a nod for their track, "Lessons Learned," while Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland picked up a nomination for "4 Minutes." Also nominated are Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for "Rich Woman," Rihanna and Maroon 5 for "If I Never See Your Face Again," and Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown for their hit, "No Air."

Christina Aguilera took on "I Loves You Porgy," Nina Simone-style, and Taylor Swift sang her version of Peggy Lee's "I'm Sorry," and then she awkwardly revealed those in the running for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: Big Boi featuring Raekwon and Andre 3000 for "Royal Flush," Jay-Z and T.I. featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West for "Swagga Like Us," Lil Wayne featuring Jay-Z for "Mr. Carter," Ludacris featuring T.I. for "Wish You Would," and Young Jeezy with West for their cut "Put On."

B.B. King and John Mayer teamed up for a jammy rendition of "Let the Good Times Roll," and then it was time to announce the Record of the Year contenders: Adele's "Chasing Pavements," Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Please Read the Letter" will square off for the title — one of the awards show's most coveted honors.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Album of the Year
Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Best New Artist
Adele
Duffy
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
Big Boi (featuring Raekwon and Andrew 3000), "Royal Flush"
Jay-Z and T.I. (featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West), "Swagga Like Us"
Lil Wayne (featuring Jay-Z), "Mr. Carter"
Ludacris (featuring T.I.), "Wish You Would"
Young Jeezy (featuring Kanye West), "Put On"

Record of the Year
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"
Leona Lewis, "Bleeding Love"
M.I.A., "Paper Planes"
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Please Read the Letter"

Song of the Year
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), "American Boy"
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours"
Sara Bareilles, "Love Song"
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"
The Eagles, "Waiting in the Weeds"
Gnarls Barkley, "Going On"
Maroon 5, "Won't Go Home Without You"
OneRepublic, "Apologize"

Best Rock Album
Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Kid Rock, Rock N Roll Jesus
Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
Metallica, Death Magnetic
The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

Best Rap Album
Jay-Z, American Gangster
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Lupe Fiasco, The Cool
Nas, Nas
T.I. Paper Trail

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Danger Mouse
Nigel Godrich
Johnny Karkazis
Rick Rubin
Will.I.Am

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
Sara Bareilles, "Love Song"
Duffy, "Mercy"
Leona Lewis, "Bleeding Love"
Katy Perry, "I Kissed a Girl"
Pink, "So What"

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Kid Rock, "All Summer Long"
John Mayer, "Say"
Paul McCartney, "That Was Me"
Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours"
Ne-Yo, "Closer"
James Taylor, "Wichita Lineman"

Best Dance Recording
Daft Punk, "Harder Better Faster Stronger"
Hot Chip, "Ready for The Floor"
Lady Gaga and Colby O'Donis, "Just Dance"
Madonna, "Give It 2 Me"
Rihanna, "Disturbia"
Sam Sparro,"Black & Gold"

Best Electronic/Dance Album
Brazilian Girls, New York City,
Daft Punk, Alive 2007,
Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya to The Brink
Kylie Minogue, X
Moby, Last Night
Robyn, Robyn

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
AC/DC, "Rock N Roll Train"
Coldplay, "Violet Hill"
The Eagles, "Long Road Out of Eden"
Kings of Leon, "Sex on Fire"
Radiohead, "House of Cards"

Best Hard Rock Performance
Disturbed, "Inside the Fire"
Judas Priest, "Visions"
The Mars Volta, "Wax Simulacra"
Mötley Crüe, "Saints of Los Angeles"
Rob Zombie, "Lords of Salem"

Best Metal Performance
DragonForce, "Heroes of Our Time"
Judas Priest, "Nostradamus"
Metallica, "My Apocalypse"
Ministry, "Under My Thumb"
Slipknot, "Psychosocial"
Best Alternative Music Album
Beck, Modern Guilt
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Beyoncé, "Me, Myself and I"
Keyshia Cole, "Heaven Sent"
Jennifer Hudson, "Spotlight"
Alicia Keys, "Superwoman"
Jazmine Sullivan, "Need U Bad"

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Eric Benét, "You're the Only One"
Chris Brown, "Take You Down"
Ne-Yo, "Miss Independent"
Trey Songz, "Can't Help But Wait"
Usher, "Here I Stand"

Best Rap Solo Performance
Jay-Z, "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is ... )"
Lil Wayne, "A Milli"
Lupe Fiasco, "Paris, Tokyo"
Nas, "N.i.*.*.e.r. (The Slave and the Master)"
Snoop Dogg, "Sexual Eruption"

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), "American Boy"
Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), "Low"
John Legend & Andre 3000, "Green Light"
Lil Wayne featuring T-Pain, "Got Money"
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), "Superstar"

Best Rap Song
Lil Wayne, "Lollipop"
Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), "Low"
Snoop Dogg, "Sexual Eruption"
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), "Superstar"
Jay-Z & T.I. (featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne), "Swagger Like Us"