The 2016 American Music Awards nominations were announced on Monday, October 10, and while some of the top contenders scored a handful of bids apiece, Drake blew them all away. The rap singer has an astounding 13 nominations across pop, R&B and hip-hop categories. He’s also up for Artist of the Year.
Drake’s windfall is due in large part to his many collaborations. He’s nominated twice for Best Collaboration: “One Dance” with Wizkid and Kyla, “Work” with Rihanna. The same two songs are nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Song, and “Work” has a third bid for Video of the Year. Drake even contends twice for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album: for his own “Views” as well as his collaboration with Future, “What a Time to Be Alive.”
Rihanna comes closest to Drake’s total with seven bids. She too is up for Artist of the Year, along with Best Pop/Rock Female Artist and Best Soul/R&B Female Artist. Her album “Anti” is up for Best Soul/R&B Album, and “Work” with Drake has its aforementioned three noms.
They face off against a pair of fan-favorites for Artist of the Year: Adele and Justin Bieber, both with five nominations. Bieber has won the top award twice (2010, 2012). In fact, out of his nine total nominations, he has only ever lost one AMA race: Best Pop/Rock Male Artist in 2011 (Bruno Mars was the winner that year). Does that make him the frontrunner to win all of his categories this year? He’s also up for Best Pop/Rock Male Artist, Best Pop/Rock Album (“Purpose”), Best Pop/Rock Song (“Love Yourself”) and Video of the Year (“Sorry”).
Meanwhile, Adele has won four out of her five past noms at the AMAs, though the only prize she lost was the big one: in 2011 she was up for Artist of the Year but was bested by Taylor Swift. This year Adele is back in the top contest, along with Best Pop/Rock Female Artist, Best Adult Contemporary Artist, Best Pop/Rock Album (“25”) and Best Pop/Rock Song (“Hello”).
Surprisingly, Beyonce trails with four nominations. Her album “Lemonade” was a critical and cultural sensation in 2016, but her only bids in addition to Artist of the Year are for Best Soul/R&B Female Artist, Best Soul/R&B Album (“Lemonade”) and Tour of the Year. Beyonce has a hit-and-miss track record at the AMAs. She has now been nominated 23 times as a solo artist, but she has only won five of those awards, along with an honorary International Artist Award in 2007.
Rounding out the Artst of the Year contest are the rock group Twenty One Pilots, country musician Carrie Underwood, R&B singer The Weeknd and pop stars Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande. Winners will be presented at a live ceremony on November 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to be broadcast on ABC