American Music Awards predictions 2016: Shawn Mendes will win New Artist of the Year

The 2016 American Music Awards are held on Sunday, November 20, and according to our latest predictions Shawn Mendes will be awarded New Artist of the Year. It’s his only nomination this year, but the teenage star has developed a passionate fan base, which is crucial since these awards are decided by viewers voting at home. Check out our complete AMA racetrack odds and make your own predictions.

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Mendes gets leading 5/4 odds from our predictions contest entrants, and it’s not hard to see why. In recent years this category has strongly favored young celebs, including teen heartthrobs like the Jonas Brothers (2008), Justin Bieber (2010) and the boy band 5 Seconds of Summer (2014). So 18-year-old Mendes might be a perfect fit for AMA fan voters. His second album, “Illuminate,” was released this past September, so he’ll be fresh in his fans’ minds.

But Mendes isn’t the only heartthrob in the running. In fact, this category ironically includes a previous winner: Joe Jonas, who won New Artist with the aforementioned Jonas Brothers in 2008, is nominated again as the lead singer of his new band, DNCE. They rank second in our predictions with 13/5 odds, and they may be even fresher in voters’ minds: after releasing their EP “Swaay” in 2015, they’ll drop their first, self-titled studio album on Friday, November 18 — two days before the AMAs. They have one other nomination this year: Pop/Rock Duo or Group.

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The race for New Artist of the Year includes one more past nominee: Zayn ranks third with 7/2 odds. He rose to fame as a member of the boy band One Direction, who contended for this award in 2012 (losing to Carly Rae Jepsen). The band also won Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015. He left the band in 2015 to strike out on his own, releasing a debut solo album, “Mind of Mine,” in March 2016. Like Mendes, Zayn has no other nominations this year.

In fourth place, also with 7/2 odds, are The Chainsmokers. But even though they trail in our odds they’re actually the most nominated act in this category. They contend for three other awards: Collaboration of the Year (“Don’t Let Me Down” with Daya), Electronic Dance Music Artist and Pop/Rock Duo or Group. But now that voting power is in the hands of fanss, our users making predictions aren’t so confident they’ll have as much support as their rivals.

If the young male acts above split the vote, that could open the door for underdog Alessia Cara, who rounds out the category with 9/2 odds. She has no other AMA nominations. The 20-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter released her debut album “Know-It-All” in November 2015.

Make your AMA predictions now; change them till Nov. 20

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts as often as you like before winners are announced on Nov. 20.  Just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the AMAs race in our music forum.

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