NEW YORK (AP) – Some of the Grammys’ biggest critics, who felt they had been overlooked at the famous awards show, will take center stage at another event: the Billboard Music Awards.
The Weeknd slammed the Grammys last year for not receiving a single nomination for the 2021 edition, despite having the biggest song of the year, “Blinding Lights,” and a multi-platinum multi-hit album, “After Hours.” But at Sunday’s Billboard Awards, he is the top nominee, competing for an impressive 16 trophies.
With 27 wins, Drake is the most decorated artist in Billboard history. This year he is competing for seven honors and will be honored as Artist of the Decade.
Drake has won four Grammy Awards and The Weeknd three, although they have been restricted to the rap and R&B categories, rather than winning awards such as album, song or recording of the year. But both Canadian artists will be measured for the top prize on the Billboard, best artist, where the competition includes Taylor Swift and rappers Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke.
Despite dominating the charts and streaming services, Juice WRLD was also snubbed by the Grammys, which were awarded in March. Pop Smoke earned only one nomination: Best Rap Performance for the hit “Dior.” However, Swift won album of the year for the third time with “evermore.”
The Weeknd, Swift, Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke will compete for the best Billboard 200 album award, along with Lil Baby.
In the Hot 100 song category, nominees include The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” DaBaby and Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar,” Chris Brown and Young Thug’s “Go Crazy,” and Gabby Barrett and Charlie’s “I Hope.” Puth, and “Mood” by 24kGoldn and iann dior.
In the Latin music sections, Anuel AA, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Maluma and Ozuna will compete for the best Latin artist award, while Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Ozuna will also be measured for the best Latin male artist. The award for the best Latin female artist will be disputed by Becky G, Karol G and Rosalía. And the best Latin duo or group is the Banda MS by Sergio Lizárraga, Eslabón Armado and Los Dos Carnales.
Unlike other awards shows where nominees are determined by committees, finalists for the Billboard Awards are based on digital and album sales, streamimg, radio views, and social media performance. Candidates for all 51 categories are based on the listing period of March 21, 2020 – April 3, 2021.
That’s why controversial country singer Morgan Wallen is nominated for six awards. Because Wallen was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier in the year, he was not allowed to compete in the Academy of Country Music Awards or the CMT Music Awards. But despite the fallout, he has had huge success on the country and pop charts with several songs from his second album, “Dangerous: The Double Album.”
The production company of the Billboard Awards, dick clark productions, did ban Wallen from participating in the show.
But Sunday will be packed with other top performers including The Weeknd, BTS, Bad Bunny, Doja Cat and SZA, Twenty One Pilots, DJ Khaled with HER and Migos, Karol G, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Jonas Brothers with Marshmello. , and Pink, who will receive the ICON award.
Presenters will include Cynthia Erivo, Chelsea Handler, Swizz Beatz, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Gabrielle Union, Henry Golding, Leslie Odom Jr., Lil Rel Howery, Padma Lakshmi, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lena Waithe, and Dixie D’Amelio.
After The Weeknd, DaBaby is the second most nominated artist with 11 mentions. Pop Smoke received 10 posthumous nominations, while Barrett is the top female candidate with new.
Other finalists in multiple categories are Bad Bunny, BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Justin Bieber.
AJR, Glass Animals, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis with Sounds of Blackness and Ann Nesby will also perform at Sunday’s ceremony, while rapper and activist Trae Tha Truth will receive the Change Maker Award.