Rapper Kanye West is delighted his protege John Legend matched him with eight nominations for next year's (06) Grammy Awards, because they are pushing modern music forward together.

The DIAMONDS FROM SIERRA LEONE star used the success of his debut album THE COLLEGE DROPOUT to give a recording contract to his old friend Legend - and West isn't surprised Legend has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top.

West tells MTV, "For this to be John Legend's first time and him to be tied with the most for this year's nominations is just incredible.

"Of course I do get a lot of benefits from it, but as a label head, as a friend, as a fan of music, I wanted John Legend to come out because I knew he would help the world with his music, and in return it helped him also.

"So to see his family, to see the fans react to John Legend, because it's not just about us, the Grammys are about the fans hearing John Legend got these nominations."