Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar will be among big winners at 2018 Billboard Music Awards

Bruno Mars is expected to win big at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, May 20, based on the predictions of hundreds of Gold Derby users who have been giving us their picks since the nominations were announced. We’re forecasting 14 categories out of the 57 that will be handed out, and of those Mars is tipped to win Top R&B Artist, Top Touring Artist, and the biggest prize of the night, Top Artist of the Year.

SEE 2018 Billboard Music Awards live stream online: How to watch ceremony hosted by Kelly Clarkson on May 20 without a TV

Mars is the most nominated artist of the year with 15 bids, tied with Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran. Mars recently swept the Grammys with six victories including Album of the Year for “24K Magic” and Record of the Year for its title track. But these awards are based on record sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring, and social engagement, the same factors that decide the Billboard charts, so Mars can’t rest on his laurels.

SEE 2018 Billboard Music Awards: Full list of nominations in 55 categories led by Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran

But he has had a big year on the charts in addition to his armful of awards from the recording academy. Since its release in the fall of 2016 “24K Magic” has gone double platinum and produced a chart-topping single on the Hot 100 singles chart, “That’s What I Like.” Mars followed that with another top-10 hit, “Finesse” featuring Cardi B.

It might be surprising that Mars has only won one Billboard Music Award to date despite years of consistent commercial success. He claimed Top Radio Song in 2011 for “Just the Way You Are,” but he lost all of his other 29 noms. However, it appears likely that he will improve on that track record this year.

Meanwhile, we’re betting on Mars’s Top Artist rival Lamar to take home Top Rap Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album for “Damn,” which recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. But that prestige won’t sway the Billboard Awards, which are strictly a numbers game. Many of those numbers are in his favor, though: “Damn” was certified triple-platinum and produced a number-one hit on the Hot 100 singles chart, “Humble.”

Imagine Dragons are also expected to win. They have claimed five Billboard Awards in previous years and we think they’ll grab at least two more: Top Duo or Group and Top Rock Artist, both of which they claimed in 2014. They have 11 nominations overall this year thanks to their platinum album “Evolver” and top-10 singles “Believer” and “Thunder.”

See the rest of our predictions by artist below in the 14 top categories we’re betting on. How many more awards will Mars, Lamar and Imagine Dragons take home? Or are we overestimating them entirely?

BRUNO MARS
Top Artist of the Year
Top R&B Artist
Top Touring Artist

IMAGINE DRAGONS
Top Duo or Group
Top Rock Artist

KENDRICK LAMAR
Top Rap Artist
Top Billboard 200 Album — “Damn”

LUIS FONSI, DADDY YANKEE, JUSTIN BIEBER
Top Hot 100 Song — “Despacito”
Top Collaboration — “Despacito”

“BLACK PANTHER”
Top Soundtrack

CARDI B
Top New Artist

CHRIS STAPLETON
Top Country Artist

ED SHEERAN
Top Male Artist

TAYLOR SWIFT
Top Female Artist

Be sure to make your Billboard Music Award predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see this year’s contenders are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced. And join the discussion on this and more taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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