LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Katy won a leading nine nominations for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on Wednesday, reducing eccentric superstar Lady Gaga to also-ran status with just three nods.
Sultry British singer Adele, whose second album "21" is the world's top-selling record this year, earned seven nominations -- all of them for her hit single "Rolling in the Deep".
Rapper Kanye West was the top male nominee, with seven nods for his futuristic "E.T" collaboration with Perry as well as his own music videos for "All of the Lights" and "Power".
Soulful "Grenade" singer Bruno Mars earned four nominations while Beyonce, Eminem, rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars and female rapper Nicki Minaj racked up three nods apiece. The awards will be handed out during a televised live show in Los Angeles on August 28. Winners are picked by public voting.
The nine nods for Perry, 26, were the climax of an extraordinary 12 months that has seen the once struggling gospel singer reinvent herself as a pop sex kitten with a string of hits like "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream" and "Firework".
"Firework" was nominated for both video of the year and best female video, while "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)" got a best pop video mention.
Perry will compete with Adele ("Rolling in the Deep"), first time VMA nominee Tyler the Creator ("Yonkers"), Bruno Mars ("Grenade") and the Beastie Boys ("Make Some Noise") for video of the year --the top MTV video music prize.
Lady Gaga was the big winner at last year's MTV music awards, taking home eight prizes, including video of the year for "Bad Romance".
But after months of hype for her new album "Born This Way" the flamboyant New York singer was sidelined in the 2011 nominations. Her three nods came for best female video for "Born This Way", while "Judas" will compete for art direction and choreography.
Rappers Wiz Khalifa, Tyler the Creator, and Big Sean will face off in the best new artist category against American indie band Foster the People and hip-hop singer Kreayshawn.
The TV audience for last year's MTV Video Music Awards was the biggest since 2002, attracting some 11.4 million viewers.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)