Nicki Minaj, Rihanna lead American Music Awards nominations

Nicki Minaj reaped a leading four nominations for the upcoming edition of the American Music Awards. However, this two-time champ is a long way from equalling the achievement of rival “American Idol” judge Mariah Carey who has won 11 of her 38 bids over the years.

Also up for four awards at the 40th anniversary of this ABC staple is Minaj’s pal Rihanna who has won five AMAs. The pair vie against each for Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock) with Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry rounding out that race. (See full list of nominees in 20 categories as determined by airplay and online popularity here.)

Perry and Rihanna are both up for the top prize — Artist of the Year — as are Canadian comrades Drake and 2010 champ Justin Bieber, who earned three bids each, as did the resurgent Maroon 5 which also contends in that category.

The other three-time contenders are Bieber’s one-time mentor Usher and Britpop group One Direction.

Among those with two bids each are Chris Brown, Fun., Gotye and Pitbull. And two “American Idol” alum –Clarkson and Carrie Underwood — also have a pair of nods.

This year marks the introduction of the Electronic Dance Music category and inaugural nominees include Grammy champ Skrillex, David Guetta and Calvin Harris.

This marks the sixth year of online voting. Winners will be revealed during the Nov. 18 live kudocast from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

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