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Black Grammy Nominees Make History

IT was one historic moment in music that passed with little notice.

For one week in January, the 10 most popular songs in the United States as measured on Billboard's hot singles chart were all performed by black artists. That's never happened before.

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Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Shanice, Bobby Brown, and others accomplished what would have been unthinkable in the days of "Your Hit Parade" and Pat Boone's remakes of songs by Fats Domino and Little Richard.

This year's 35th annual Grammy Awards has two black artists, Vanessa Williams and Peabo Bryson, nominated for the coveted record-of-the-year and song-of-the-year prizes.

Black artists, long shipped to the rhythm and blues categories, are a strong presence in the top pop categories as well.

Ms. Williams and Mariah Carey are nominated for pop vocal, female; Michael Jackson is nominated for pop vocal, male; Bryson's duet with Celine Dion is nominated for pop vocal, duo or group, as is Prince and the New Power Generation; Bobby Short and Nancy Wilson are each nominated in the traditional pop vocal category.

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