Rap artist M.C. Hammer, the "dancing machine" from Oakland, Calif., has received seven nominations for the 18th annual American Music Awards, the most of any recording artist.

Hammer has brought rap into the mainstream with his album "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" topping the charts as the best-selling album this year, with more than 8 million records, tapes and compact discs sold.Hammer's nominations came in three different categories: pop-rock, rap and soul-rythym and blues. He was nominated as favorite artist in both the soul-rhythm and blues category and the rap category. His "U Can't Touch This" was nominated as best single in the soul-rhythm and blues category, and his "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em" album was nominated in the pop-rock category for favorite album of the year.

The awards will be presented Jan. 28 during a three-hour special on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Janet Jackson, who has eclipsed her brother Michael in popularity with the success of her album "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814," was second in nominations with five.

Hammer and Jackson were both nominated in the favorite pop-rock album category, along with rocker Phil Collins for his album ". . . But Seriously."

Madonna, who received heavy new coverage recently over the sexual content of her "Justify My Love" video, received four nominations, including favorite female pop-rock artist and favorite single in both the pop-rock and dance categories, both for "Vogue."

Nominees for American Music Awards were compiled from the year-end sales charts from the music industry trade publication Cash Box. Winners will be selected by a national sampling of 20,000 people.

Nominations were in six categories: pop-rock, country, soul-rhythm and blues, rap, heavy metal and dance.

POP-ROCK

Favorite male artist: Michael Bolton, Phil Collins, M.C. Hammer

Favorite female artist: Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor

Favorite band, duo or group: Aerosmith, Bell Biv DeVoe, New Kids on the Block

Favorite single: "Blaze Of Glory," Jon Bon Jovi; "Hold On," Wilson Phillips; "Vogue," Madonna

Favorite album: ". . . But Seriously," Phil Collins; "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814," Janet Jackson; "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," M.C. Hammer

Favorite new artist: Mariah Carey, Vanilla Ice, Wilson Phillips

SOUL-RHYTHM & BLUES

Favorite male artist: M.C. Hammer, Quincy Jones, Keith Sweat

Favorite female artist: Regina Belle, Mariah Carey, Miki Howard, Janet Jackson, Lisa Stansfield

Favorite band, duo or group: After 7, Bell Biv DeVoe, Tony! Toni! Tone!

Favorite single: "Feels Good," Tony! Toni! Tone!; "Merry Go Round," Keith Sweat; "U Can't Touch This," M.C. Hammer

Favorite album: "Back On The Block," Quincy Jones; "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814," Janet Jackson; "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," M.C. Hammer

Favorite new artist: Bell Biv DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Lisa Stansfield

COUNTRY

Favorite male artist: Clint Black, Garth Brooks, George Strait

Favorite female artist: Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Reba McEntire, Lorrie Morgan, K.T. Oslin

Favorite band, duo or group: Alabama, The Judds, Shenandoah

Favorite single: "Born To Be Blue," The Judds; "If Tomorrow Never Comes," Garth Brooks; "Love Without End, Amen," George Strait

Favorite album: "Killin' Time," Clint Black; "Livin' It Up," George Strait; "Reba Live," Reba McEntire

Favorite new artist: Alan Jackson, The Kentucky Headhunters, Travis TrittHEAVY METAL

Favorite artist: Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Poison

Favorite album: "Dr. Feelgood," Motley Crue; "Flesh And Blood," Poison; "Pump," Aerosmith

Favorite new artist: Bruce Dickinson, Don Dokken, SlaughterRAP

Favorite artist: M.C. Hammer, Too Short, Vanilla Ice

Favorite album: "Fear Of A Black Planet," Public Enemy; "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," M.C. Hammer; "To The Extreme," Vanilla Ice

Favorite new artist: Candyman, Digital Underground, Vanilla Ice

DANCE

Favorite artist: Janet Jackson, Madonna, Michel'le

Favorite single: "Hold On," En Vogue; "The Power," Snap; "Vogue" Madonna

Favorite new artist: Bell Biv DeVoe, En Vogue, Michel'le