By RUSSELL BAILLIE entertainment editor



Although the New Zealand music awards have diversified their categories and widened their judging pool this year, the nominations for the Tuis announced yesterday still showed predictable dominance by a big-selling pop act.



The leading finalist was young Auckland group Nesian Mystik whose debut hit album Polysaturated and its singles led to their nomination in eight categories. That includes album of the year, single of the year, and best group - as well as being a frontrunner in the new categories of highest-selling single, highest-selling album and best urban album.



Award organisers, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) has also added this year the categories of best dance album, best roots music album, best solo artist and best breakthrough artist, to reflect the diversity of releases while sidelining some other non-mainstream genres.

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Award regular Bic Runga is the second-most successful nominee with five nominations on the back of her long-awaited second album Beautiful Collision. Runga is already a winner - she was last night given the Tui for best producer in the technical categories announced before the main event on Wednesday April 30.



Among the awards Runga has previously won and is up for on the night are album of the year, single of the year, and best female vocalist. She also figures in the two new highest-selling categories and best solo artist.



The biggest showing by a rock group in the list is Cambridge-born success story the Datsuns with three nominations - for album of the year, group of the year and the new breakthrough artist category.



Given their 2002 breakthrough in Britain, it's likely they will also take away the international achievement award, too, as organisers have declared there is only one unnamed finalist.



Auckland band Goldenhorse are also thrice-nominated for their debut Riverhead in the best album, best female vocalist and best breakthrough artist. Some of the other multiple nominees - including Che Fu, Anika Moa, and goodshirt - seem to have been nominated on the back of 2001 albums which were still spawning singles last year.



Having dominated the 2001 awards with his The Navigator album, Che Fu is up for four categories including single of the year, best male vocalist and songwriter of the year for Navigator track and single Misty Frequencies. Likewise, Moa figures in three categories - best single, best solo artist and best female which she won last year - on the back of 2002 single Falling In Love Again from her 2001 debut album.



Goodshirt's single Sophie, which trickled its way to number one in May last year nearly a year after the release of their debut album Good, means the band is up for three categories. They have already won - last night the Auckland band and director Joe Lonie took away the best video award for the hit.



Among the newcomers named in the list are former TrueBliss member Carly Binding, who is nominated as best solo artist for her single It's Alright With Me, and West Auckland hard-rockers Blindspott, who figure in the breakthrough artist category.



Those who worked on the group's self-titled debut album took away the best engineer prize last night.



This year the awards are an industry-only function but TV3 is broadcasting a one-hour highlights package on Friday May 2 at 7.30pm.



AND THE NOMINEES ARE ...


Album Of The Year



Pacifier - Pacifier



The Datsuns - The Datsuns



Goldenhorse - Riverhead



Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision



Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated




Single of the Year


Che Fu - Misty Frequencies



Bic Runga - Get Some Sleep



goodshirt - Sophie



Anika Moa - Falling in Love Again



Nesian Mystik - It's On




Best Group


The Datsuns - The Datsuns



goodshirt - Sophie



Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated




Best Solo Artist


Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision



Anika Moa - Falling In Love Again



Carly Binding - Alright With Me




Best Male Vocalist


Jon Toogood (Pacifier) - Pacifier



Che Fu - Misty Frequencies



Te Awanui Pine Reeder (Nesian Mystik) - For the People




Best Female Vocalist


Kirsten Morelle (Goldenhorse) - Riverhead



Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision



Anika Moa - Falling In Love Again




Breakthrough Artist Of The Year


The Datsuns - The Datsuns



Goldenhorse - Riverhead



Blindspott - Blindspott




Songwriter Of The Year


Che Fu - Misty Frequencies



goodshirt - Sophie



Nesian Mystik - It's On




Highest Selling NZ Album


Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision



Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated



Che Fu - Navigator




Highest Selling NZ Single


K'Lee - Can You Feel Me



Katchafire - Giddy Up



Nesian Mystik - It's On




Best Urban Album


P Money - Big Things



Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated



Deceptikonz - Elimination




Best Dance Album


Rhombus - Bass Player



Salmonella Dub - Outside the Dubplates



Subware - Subware




Best Roots Music Album


Te Vaka - Nukukehe



Trinity Roots Band - True



Darren Watson - King Size




Best Jazz Album


Twinset - It's a Summer Feeling



Kevin Clark - Once Upon a Song I Flew



Matt Penman - The Unquiet




Best Classical Album


New Zealand String Quartet - Beethoven Rasumovsky Quartets Opus 59 Nos 2 and 3



New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Douglas Lilburn - the Three Symphonies



New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Simon Boccanegra - Giuseppe Verdi




Best Mana Reo Album


Hareruia Aperahama - Waiata of Bob Marley Vol 2



Ngahiwi Apanui - E Tau Nei



Adam Whauwhau - He Hua O Roto




Best Mana Maori Album


Soul Paua - Pohewa



Upper Hutt Posse - Te Reo Maori Remixes



Mahinarangi Tocker - Hei Ha



Brother J - Be Bop a Nui




Best Pacific Island Album


Pacific Soul - Pacific Soul



Jamoa Jam - Tama Mai Le Pasifika



Lapi Mariner - Just Me




Technical category winners


Best Video


Joe Lonie and goodshirt - Sophie




Producer


Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision




Engineer


Clint Murphy and Dave Rhodes - Blindspott




Cover Design


Campbell Hooper-Johnson - Flock: The Best of the Mutton Birds




Radio Programmer


Andi Dawkins, More FM, Christchurch