Why Olivia Rodrigo, The Weeknd, and Ariana Grande are artists to beat at Billboard Music Awards

Continuing this year’s coverage of the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, which are airing on May 15, let’s take a look at some of the biggest and most anticipated categories of the night for songs, albums and artists, with more category breakdowns soon to come.

Top Billboard 200 Album

Morgan Wallen‘s “Dangerous: The Double Album” seems like the obvious winner here, considering it topped the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks and has not moved much since, still being in the top five as of this writing after 16 months on the chart. However, Adele’s “30” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” are both big sellers that could upset.

Adele’s advantage could be that her first week sales were massive and might help put her over the finish line. Rodrigo, on the other hand, has had more longevity than Adele, with “Sour” still being in the top 10 as of May 2022. As such, both of them could pose threats to Wallen, especially since a lot of the biggest weeks for “Dangerous” were accounted for in the last Billboard Music Awards eligibility period and not this year’s. However, I’ll stick with Wallen’s impressive longevity as the winning factor here. Wallen is poised to have a big night, making his TV comeback after last year’s controversy.

Top Hot 100 Song

You’d think this would be an easy win for Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” considering it topped the Year-End Hot 100 chart. However, with the extra months difference between the year-end charts (calculated after the end of November) and the Billboard Music Awards eligibility year (which ended in March), there is a chance for The Weeknd and Ariana Grande’s “Save Your Tears” to pull an upset. The song is currently charting over “Levitating” on the Hot 100, and it has been like that for a number of weeks. So one could argue that “Save Your Tears” can make up for the difference in points and ultimately take this home.

Another song that’s worth considering is “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber. The song has refused to leave the top 10, and while it wasn’t as high on the Year-End chart, this could simply be due to the fact that it came out in the summer and didn’t have as much time to get chart points, especially not as much as 2020 carry-overs “Levitating” and “Save Your Tears.” “Stay” is already one of the longest running top 10s ever and might even surpass “Levitating” in that regard, so don’t underestimate it.

Top Collaboration

Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar, and Giveon‘s “Peaches” and Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow‘s “Industry Baby” missed Top Hot 100 Song’s nomination list, so they’re safely out here. Doja Cat and SZA‘s “Kiss Me More” was a big hit, but it wasn’t quite as big as the other two nominees here. In the end it’ll come down to either “Save Your Tears” or “Stay.”

My bet is on “Save Your Tears” since it’s had more time to accumulate points and, despite being quite old by now, has still not left the Hot 100. However, “Stay” might have had higher peaks and thus more chart points, which could help it take this one home. Ultimately, whichever takes this might also have a good chance at winning Top Hot 100 Song. Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” is absent from this lineup. She surely would have been nominated here as well if it hadn’t been for … you know who getting his remix version pulled from the airwaves after some flagrantly homophobic remarks.

Top New Artist

Does it really need to be explained why Olivia Rodrigo will continue her sweep of new artist categories throughout the awards year? This singer-songwriter managed to get four top-10 hits including number-one singles “Drivers License” and “Good 4 U,” not to mention charting every other song from her debut album “Sour” in the Hot 100 too. Rodrigo’s album was the second most successful of 2021, and is still a big seller. There’s little competition here besides The Kid LAROI, but he just hasn’t had the chart achievements Rodrigo has had despite the massive success of “Stay.” At this rate, just rename every Best New Artist category as the Olivia Rodrigo Award, if we’re being real.

Be sure to make your predictions so that artists can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next tracking week begins every Friday. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our music forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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