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Billboard Music Awards: The Weeknd Leads Finalists With 16 Nods

Kevin Mazur/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV
Other artists competing in multiple categories include DaBaby, Pop Smoke, Gabby Barrett and Megan Thee Stallion.

The Weeknd leads all finalists for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards with 16 nods.
The singer is up for top artist, top male artist, top Hot 100 artist, top streaming songs artist and top song sales artist. In addition, his 2020 album After Hours received multiple nods, including top Billboard 200 album and top R&B album, while his single "Blinding Lights" is a finalist in five categories.

The news might come as an awards vindication of sorts for The Weeknd, who vowed to boycott the Grammy Awards after his album After Hours did not land any nominations for this year's ceremony. He said later that he would not be submitting for the Grammys due to the "secret committees" that choose the nominees. However, it should be noted that the BBMA process is different from the Grammys in that the finalists are chosen based on Billboard's data-driven charts (which is why they are referred to as finalists, not nominees).

If The Weeknd wins in all of his categories, he would surpass Taylor Swift's record (23 career wins) as the second-most-winning artist in BBMA history.

Meanwhile, Swift herself is up for four awards, and could tie Drake's record for most wins of all time (he has 27). Swift is a finalist for top artist, top female artist and top Billboard 200 artist.

And Drake himself could break his own record. He is up for seven awards, including top artist.

In addition to The Weeknd, Drake and Swift, other finalists in the top artist category include the late rappers Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke.

Pop Smoke is a finalist in 10 categories overall, including top Billboard 200 album for his posthumously released debut album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, and top new artist (other finalists in that category include Gabby Barrett, Doja Cat, Jack Harlow and Rod Wave). Juice WRLD is a finalist in seven categories, including top rap album for Legends Never Die. BBMA organizers said this is the first time in a decade that two of the top 10 finalists received posthumous recognition.

Other top finalists with multiple mentions include DaBaby with 11; Barrett with nine; and Bad Bunny, Chris Brown and Megan Thee Stallion with seven apiece.

Bad Bunny also set a record of his own, becoming the first Latin artist to land three nods in the same category, for top Latin album, where he has El Último Tour Del Mundo, Las que no iban a salir and YHLQMDLG all in contention.

Elsewhere, BTS is up for four awards, including top social artist, a fan-voted award. If the group wins, it will mark BTS' fifth consecutive award in that category.

And country artist Morgan Wallen is up for six awards, following a video that surfaced in February showing him using the N-word. He apologized for using "an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur" after TMZ posted the video. During the live stream announcement, the hosts noted that finalists are determined based on charts data and not by a voting committee or membership organization. A statement displayed onscreen read in part: "With our content reaching millions of viewers, [producers] DCP and [parent company] MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry." (The show is produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of MRC, which is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.)

He also will not be invited to the ceremony, producers said in a statement. "Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting)," they said. "It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."

More specifically, the BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data. This year’s awards are based on the chart period of March 21, 2021 through April 3, 2021. In addition to top social artist, fan-voted categories include the Billboard chart achievement award and top collaboration.

Finalists were revealed Thursday across 51 categories spanning multiple genres as part of a live stream, dubbed Billboard Music Awards — The List Live, that was hosted by Access Hollywood's Zuri Hall and comedian LaLa Milan. The announcement featured appearances by Anitta, Bretman Rock, Brianne Howey and Antonia Gentry, Chris Sullivan, FINNEAS and Maggie Baird, Jay Pharoah, Jon Batiste, Kandi Burruss, Kyle Richards, Leslie Jordan, Lisa Rinna, Luis Fonsi, the New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Nick DiGiovanni, Paris Hilton, Rob Gronkowski, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, Tanya Rad and Brad Goreski, Tate McRae, Tika the Iggy, Tim Anderson, Wisdom Kaye and more.

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards are set to air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 23, from the Microsoft Theater. Barry Adelman and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

How the 2020 Billboard Music Awards Reflected the COVID-19 Era

A complete list of this year's finalists follows.

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Pop Smoke
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd

Top New Artist
Gabby Barrett
Doja Cat
Jack Harlow
Pop Smoke
Rod Wave

Top Male Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd

Top Female Artist
Billie Eilish
Ariana Grande
Dua Lipa
Megan Thee Stallion
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group
AC/DC
AJR
BTS
Dan + Shay
Maroon 5

Top Billboard 200 Artist
Drake
Juice WRLD
Pop Smoke
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist
DaBaby
Drake
Dua Lipa
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd

Top Streaming Songs Artist
DaBaby
Drake
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke
The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist
Justin Bieber
BTS
Megan Thee Stallion
Morgan Wallen
The Weeknd

Top Radio Songs Artist
Justin Bieber
Lewis Capaldi
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
The Weeknd

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted)
BLACKPINK
BTS
Ariana Grande
SB19
Seventeen

Top R&B Artist
Jhené Aiko
Justin Bieber
Chris Brown
Doja Cat
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist
Justin Bieber
Chris Brown
The Weeknd

Top R&B Female Artist
Jhené Aiko
Doja Cat
SZA

Top Rap Artist
DaBaby
Drake
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke

Top Rap Male Artist
Juice WRLD
Lil Baby
Pop Smoke

Top Rap Female Artist
Cardi B
Megan Thee Stallion
Saweetie

Top Country Artist
Gabby Barrett
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen

Top Country Male Artist
Luke Combs
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen

Top Country Female Artist
Gabby Barrett
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

Top Rock Artist
AC/DC
AJR
Five Finger Death Punch
Machine Gun Kelly
twenty one pilots

Top Latin Artist
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Maluma
Ozuna

Top Latin Male Artist
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Ozuna

Top Latin Female Artist
Becky G
Karol G
Rosalía

Top Latin Duo/Group
Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
Eslabón Armado
Los Dos Carnales

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
The Chainsmokers
Kygo
Lady Gaga
Marshmello
Surf Mesa

Top Christian Artist
Casting Crowns
Elevation Worship
for KING & COUNTRY
Carrie Underwood
Zach Williams

Top Gospel Artist
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Maverick City Music
Kanye West

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album
Juice WRLD Legends Never Die
Lil Baby My Turn
Pop Smoke Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon
Taylor Swift folklore
The Weeknd After Hours

Top R&B Album
Jhené Aiko Chilombo
Chris Brown & Young Thug Slime & B
Doja Cat Hot Pink
Kehlani It Was Good Until It Wasn't
The Weeknd After Hours

Top Rap Album
DaBaby Blame It On the Baby
Juice WRLD Legends Never Die
Lil Baby My Turn
Lil Uzi Vert Eternal Atake
Pop Smoke Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon

Top Country Album
Gabby Barrett Goldmine
Sam Hunt Southside
Chris Stapleton Starting Over
Carrie Underwood My Gift
Morgan Wallen Dangerous: The Double Album

Top Rock Album
AC/DC Power Up
Miley Cyrus Plastic Hearts
Glass Animals Dreamland
Machine Gun Kelly Tickets to My Downfall
Bruce Springsteen Letter to You

Top Latin Album
Anuel AA Emmanuel
Bad Bunny El Último Tour Del Mundo
Bad Bunny Las que no iban a salir
Bad Bunny YHLQMDLG
J Balvin Colores

Top Dance/Electronic Album
DJ Snake Carte Blanche
Gryffin Gravity
Kygo Golden Hour
Lady Gaga Chromatica
Kylie Minogue Disco

Top Christian Album
Bethel Music Peace
Elevation Worship Grave Into Gardens
Carrie Underwood My Gift
We The Kingdom Holy Water
Zach Williams Rescue Story

Top Gospel Album
Koryn Hawthorne I AM
Tasha Cobbs Leonard Royalty: Live at the Ryman
Maverick City Music Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1
Maverick City Music Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 2
Kierra Sheard Kierra

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song Presented by Rockstar
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Streaming Song
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
Future ft. Drake “Life Is Good”
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Selling Song
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
BTS “Dynamite”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
Megan Thee Stallion “Savage”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Radio Song
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Dua Lipa “Don’t Start Now”
Harry Styles “Adore You”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted)
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”

Top R&B Song
Jhené Aiko ft. H.E.R. “B.S.”
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo “Intentions”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Doja Cat “Say So”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

Top Rap Song
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
Jack Harlow ft. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne “WHATS POPPIN”
Megan Thee Stallion “Savage”

Top Country Song
Jason Aldean “Got What I Got”
Gabby Barrett “I Hope”
Lee Brice “One of Them Girls”
Morgan Wallen “Chasin’ You”
Morgan Wallen “More Than My Hometown”

Top Rock Song
AJR “Bang!”
All Time Low ft. blackbear “Monsters”
Glass Animals “Heat Waves”
Machine Gun Kelly ft. blackbear “my ex’s best friend”
twenty one pilots “Level of Concern”

Top Latin Song
Bad Bunny “Yo Perreo Sola”
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “Dákiti”
Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)”
Maluma & The Weeknd “Hawái”
Ozuna x Karol G x Myke Towers “Caramelo”

Top Dance/Electronic Song
Lady Gaga “Stupid Love”
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande “Rain on Me”
SAINt JHN “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”
Surf Mesa ft. Emilee “ily (i love you baby)”
Topic & A7S “Breaking Me”

Top Christian Song
Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake “Graves Into Gardens”
for KING & COUNTRY, Kirk Franklin & Tori Kelly “TOGETHER”
Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, & Elevation Worship “The Blessing (Live)”
Tauren Wells ft. Jenn Johnson “Famous For (I Believe)”
Zach Williams & Dolly Parton “There Was Jesus”

Top Gospel Song
Koryn Hawthorne “Speak To Me”
Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music “Movin’ On”
Marvin Sapp “Thank You For It All”
Tye Tribbett “We Gon’ Be Alright”
Kanye West ft. Travis Scott “Wash Us In The Blood”

   


 

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