2021 American Music Awards pop predictions: Can AMAs queen Taylor Swift hold off Olivia, Ariana, BTS and more?

Pop is always a stacked genre, but the race this year at the American Music Awards might be stronger than ever. Everyone — from big established artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and The Weeknd, to newer artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Doja Cat — is on the hunt to pick up one or two awards to add to their shelves. Let’s consider who’s most likely to prevail.

Favorite Male Pop Artist

A win for Justin Bieber is more than likely here. Not only does he have a big fan base, he has also had one of his strongest years ever thanks to the success of his album “Justice” and the number-one singles “Peaches” and “Stay.” If an upset happens, it could be Lil Nas X, who has also had a successful year with his own hit album “Montero” and number-one singles “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “Industry Baby.” Nas might also have a lot of support from younger audiences as well. And always watch out for The Weeknd, who is continuing the success of his “After Hours” era.

If Bieber wins, he’ll extend his record as the biggest winner in this category, with five victories.

Favorite Female Pop Artist

Taylor Swift wins this category more often than not, so you might just want to predict her and hope for an easy bet, especially with the current smash that is her new re-recorded version of “Red.” However, watch out for this year’s breakout Olivia Rodrigo, who has a similar fan base to Swift’s. And in case of a split between the two since they do share a lot of fans, Ariana Grande might take the cake; she has beaten Swift here before, in 2015.

If Swift wins, she’ll extend her record as the biggest winner in this category, with six titles.

Favorite Pop Duo or Group

Listen, if it is fan-voted and BTS are nominated … they are going to win. And this lineup doesn’t seem like much of a threat to them anyway, with artists like Glass Animals, AJR, and Maroon 5 not having the rabid voting fan bases that the Korean boy band has. If you’re feeling bold then go ahead and pick Silk Sonic for the potential upset, but this is pretty much locked for BTS.

A win this year would give BTS the most wins ever in this category with three, tying them with Aerosmith, The Black Eyed Peas, One Direction, and Hall and Oates … not bad company to be in).

Favorite Pop Song

BTS is also nominated here, which might be enough to seal the deal for “Butter.” However, do consider a possible upset from Doja Cat and SZA for “Kiss Me More,” which was a comparably popular hit and might carry a lot of support from both Doja Cat and SZA‘s fans. I’d also keep an eye out for “Save Your Tears (Remix),” since both The Weeknd and Ariana Grande have well-established fan bases of their own.

Favorite Pop Album

Let’s go through the process of elimination here. While The Kid LAROI‘s “F*ck Love” was pretty big, the Australian teen might not have a passionate enough fan base to win against the other artists here. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” was also a major hit, but a lot of people, including her fans, may think it’s a creative step backwards from her previous albums, so that might be out next.

While Dua Lipa has had a huge year thanks to her single “Levitating,” “Future Nostalgia” isn’t the most successful album here nor does she have the biggest fan base. That leaves us yet again with Olivia Rodrigo vs. Taylor Swift. I’ll go with Swift; the AMAs are her stronghold, and “Evermore” was beloved. Still, a Rodrigo win for “Sour” is very possible.

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