The 2016 American Music Awards nominations were announced on Monday, October 10, and Drake led with a record-setting 13 nominations across pop, R&B and rap categories — not to mention Artist of the Year. But does that mean he’s the frontrunner to win?
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Drake may have the most nominations, but the American Music Awards are decided by fans voting online, and they’ve never picked him before in any category. He was previously nominated nine times between 2010 and 2015, including one previous Artist of the Year bid in 2012, but since he has more nominations this year than he’s had in the entire rest of his career to date, he’s bound to win something, right?
One of Drake’s biggest threats may be Justin Bieber, who was the one to beat Drake for Artist of the Year in 2012. Bieber also won the top prize in 2010. In fact, out of nine previous AMA nominations Bieber has only ever lost once: he lost Best Pop/Rock Male Artist to Bruno Mars in 2011. Does that mean we can expect a Bieber sweep of his five nominations this year?
Drake could also be challenged by his real-life girlfriend Rihanna, who is nominated seven times this year. She and Drake share three nominations for their collaboration “Work,” but on her own Rihanna has always been a force to be reckoned with. She has won eight AMAs out of 17 competitive nominations, and she also took home the honorary Icon Award in 2013. But she didn’t win either of her two previous bids for Artist of the Year.
Also aiming for her first victory in the top category is Adele. She seems to have won almost every award under the sun already — including 10 Grammys and an Oscar — and she has won four times out of five noms at the American Music Awards, but the one prize she lost was the big one: Taylor Swift bested her for Artist of the Year in 2011. This year Adele has five bids, her personal best total.
The category is already stacked and we haven’t even gotten to Beyonce yet. She has been a critical and cultural sensation in 2016 thanks to her lauded visual album “Lemonade,” which not only won her a remarkable eight MTV Video Music Awards this year, but also picked up four Emmy nominations. So it’s somewhat surprising that she’s only nominated four times at the AMAs. As a solo artist she has won five times in competitive categories and was also given the honorary International Artist Award in 2007. But she has never won Artist of the Year.
Rounding out the category, in which there are 10 nominees, are pop stars Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande, country artist Carrie Underwood, R&B singer The Weeknd and rock band Twenty One Pilots. Who do you think will win? Let us know in our predictions center.