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Classified performs at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards gala, in Halifax, on May 3, 2018.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Rapper Classified and singer-songwriter Rose Cousins lead the list of nominees for the 2021 East Coast Music Awards.

Classified, from Enfield, N.S., has eight nominations including Album of the Year, Rap-Hip Hop Recording of the Year and Song of the Year for “Good News.”

Halifax-based Cousins has six nominations including Songwriter of the Year, Solo Recording of the Year and Album of the Year for “Bravado.”

Beolach, Catherine MacLellan, David Myles, Neon Dreams and Rich Aucoin each have four nominations.

This year’s awards lineup features a new category – African Canadian Artist of the Year – with Joe Bowden, Keonte Beals, Miokal, Owen O’Sound Lee, Shelley Hamilton and Zamani vying for the honour.

The awards festival week is scheduled for May 5-9 in Sydney, N.S.

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