Durban band Gangs of Ballet

THE nominations for the 20th annual South African Music Awards (Samas) were announced on Wednesday at Carnival City in Brakpan.

For years the Samas have been dominated by house and kwaito, but Durban rockers Gangs of Ballet led the way with five nominations and The Parlotones with four.

Crossover dance band Mi Casa and their big hit Jika were nominated five times. Singer/songwriter Nakhane Toure and his debut album Brave Confusion received four, as did KwaZulu-Natal songstress Naima Kay, whose debut single Lelilanga is a radio hit.

Mafikizolo were nominated four times for their comeback album, Re-United. Surprisingly, their Kalawa Jazmee stablemates, Uhuru, who did so well at the Metro FM Awards, received only one nomination.

In the all-important Album of the Year category, DJ Kent, Mafikizolo, Mi Casa, Naima Kay and Nakhane Toure were nominated.

Nominations for Female Artist of the Year were unexpected: Dear Reader, Judith Sephuma, Naima Kay, Rebecca Malope and Zahara.

In Male Artist of the Year, an unknown Connell Cruise was nominated against Kaobomo, newcomers Matthew Mole and Nakhane Toure, as well as the legendary Vusi Mahlasela.

The awards event will be held at Sun City on April 27 and 28. - The Star