2018 Billboard Music Awards nominations: Drake defends Artist of the Year title against Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift

A slew of gold- and platinum-selling artists are in contention for the 26th annual Billboard Music Awards. Reigning Artist of the Year Drake defends his title against Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. (See the full list of 2018 Billboard Music Awards nominations.)

And he is looking to pick up a bookend to the Male Artist trophy he took home last year but must prevail against Lamar, Mars, Sheeran (all of whom reaped a leading 15 bids) as well as Post Malone. Swift vies for Best Female Artist against Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Halsey and Demi Lovato; last year’s winner of this race was Beyonce.

In contention for the Top Billboard 200 Album award are chart-topping discs by Drake (“More Life”), Lamar (“DAMN”), Malone (“Stoney”), Sheeran (“÷”) and Swift (“reputation”).

SEE 2018 Billboard Music Awards: Full list of nominations led by Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran with 15 each

The Top Hot 100 Song competition is packed with hits: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber; “Humble” by Lamar; “Rockstar” by Malone featuring 21 Savage; “Shape Of You” by Sheeran; and “That’s What I Like” by Mars.

Winners will be announced prior to and during the three-hour ceremony from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 20 hosted by “The Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson that will air on NBC beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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