Eminem is the leading contender for the Grammy Awards with 10 nominations including album of the year.
The 38-year-old rapper was followed by Bruno Mars with seven nods, while Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and country group Lady Antebellum all netted six nominations.
UK acts including Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons and Susan Boyle were recognised.
Prizes in 109 musical categories will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 13 February.
The nominations cap a solid comeback for Eminem - real name Marshall Mathers III - who spent the past few years struggling with drug problems.
He returned with the album Relapse in 2009, before releasing the follow-up Recovery this year.
On top of his nods for album and record of the year, he is also shortlisted for song of the year for Love The Way You Lie, his collaboration with Rihanna.
The coveted album of the year sees him up against Arcade Fire, country-pop band Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
Hawaiian-born singer Bruno Mars, who performed twice during the nominations announcement concert, notched up seven nominations.
The 25-year-old recently embarked on a solo career, having written hit records for Flo Rida, Alexandra Burke and B.o.B.
It was a strong showing for UK acts, with folk band Mumford and Sons and Brit Award winner Florence Welch up against Canadian teenager Justin Bieber and rapper Drake for best newcomer.
Susan Boyle - who topped the album charts in the UK and the US twice in the past 12 months - will take on Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the pop vocal album category.
The Scots singer said: "Up against wonderful artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, I don't expect to win for a moment but how fantastic just to be recognised like this with a nomination on my first album."
La Roux and Goldfrapp are both in the shortlist for best dance recording and electronic/dance album.
The category, which is often dominated by UK artists, also features veterans Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada.
One of the lesser known names is 27-year-old producer Alex Da Kid, aka London-born Alexander Grant.
He has notched up an impressive four nominations for his work with Eminem and Rihanna, B.o.B and Paramore's Hayley Williams.
In the vocal performance category, Michael Jackson has picked up a posthumous nomination for This Is It.