"I definitely did my homework for this one. The Billboard Awards are unlike other awards because they are based on actual statistics," reveals our latest contest champ Denton Davidson, who wins our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate and eternal bragging rights for being the only user to reap 100% accuracy when predicting the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. "A look at the 2014 year-end charts is a good place to start, but then it takes some further guesswork."
Denton's 100% perfect winning predictions were that Taylor Swift would win Top Artist, Top Female Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album, Sam Smith would win Top New Artist and Top Male Artist, One Direction would win Top Duo/Group, Pharrell Williams would win Top R&B Artist, Iggy Azalea would win Top Rap Artist, Hozier would win Top Rock Artist, Florida Georgia Line would win Top Country Artist and Meghan Trainor would win Top Hot 100 Song. To see where YOU scored on our Billboard leaderboard, click here.
"Last year I just used the year-end chart winner and placed them as my winners for each category, which got me a good score but it wasn't perfect. I then realized they don't base the awards on the actual calendar year prior. Instead, they base it from March to March, basically eliminating the first quarter of the previous year. This is how I made the correct changes in key categories: Top R&B Artist, Top Rock Artist and Top Country Artist.
"When I first listed my predictions, I had Beyonce winning Top R&B Artist because she had the biggest album and a lot of success on the R&B charts. Looking further into it, I realized that the majority of Beyonce's success came at the end of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, which was not in the equation. I immediately bumped her for my next choice, Pharrell, who not only had the huge song 'Happy' that had part of its success in the eligible time frame, but he also had a successful album and a few other mediocre R&B hits on the singles charts. Many went with John Legend in this category, but one song is not enough to win the Top Artist Award, and John's album came out in the fall of 2013 and he had no help from that. All of his momentum rode on one big song and that song won him a couple awards, but not Top R&B artist.
"The bulk of my points came from Top Country Artist, which was a tough call for me, but not in terms of the HUGE frontrunner at Gold Derby, Luke Bryan — I knew he wouldn't win. It was between Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean. Luke Bryan only got nominated because his success was riding over from the year prior (in which he won) and it was enough to get him another nomination. You can see that his album 'Crash My Party' was nominated two years in a row, and I knew this year was the lower end of his successful ride. I honestly was going to pick Jason Aldean because of his bigger album and single, but noted that Florida Georgia Line's album was JUST behind his and they had more big singles and are bigger streaming artists than Aldean. The simple truth of what put me over the edge: I saw that they were going to be at the actual ceremony and no other country artist nominated was. I have a feeling these lower-end award shows give some advance notice to some stars that they might want to show up. It made me nervous that Pharrell wasn't there, but I still went with him. In this case, I went with Florida Georgia Line and it's the reason I won.
"I knew I WOULD get at least 80%. I knew I COULD get 90%. I thought I MIGHT get 100%. And I loved seeing everyone's choice of Luke Bryan in the country category because I knew they were all going down on that one. The Jason Aldean picks were what concerned me. Luckily I went the right way.
"I hate giving away my recipe for success, but what the hell? The key is year-end charts, who was more successful LATER in the the year of eligibility, who is a bigger streaming artist and, finally, who is going to be there?"
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