The Weeknd is the most nominated artist at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, with 17 nods in total while Doja Cat going in with 14 nods making it a combined 31 BBMA nominations between them.
The event makes its return for the first time since the pandemic started and is set to take place on Sunday, May 15, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The Weeknd is leading with his nominations in 17 categories, including top artist, top male artist, top Hot 100 artist, top streaming songs artist, top R&B song, top R&B album, just to name a few.
One of his songs with Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears (Remix),” is up for six awards, including top collaboration.
Meanwhile, Grammy-winning artist Doja Cat is the leading female artist with four nominations, including top artist, top female artist, and top Hot 100 artist.
Doja Cat, who is still reeling from her recent Grammy win, has two nominations for her album Planet Her while her Grammy-winning collab “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA, is nominated for top Hot 100 song and top collaboration and a new top viral song category.
Closely following with the most nods are Justin Bieber, Kanye West, now Ye, and Olivia Rodrigo, whom each have 13 nods.
Crowd favorites like Drake have 11 nominations, including for top artist, top male artist, top Billboard 200 artist, and top hot 100 artists. His album Certified Lover Boy is nominated in the Billboard 200 album category.
Meanwhile, Drake is the most decorated artist in BBMA history with 29 wins, followed by Taylor Swift with 25 and Justin Bieber with 21. On the other hand, the surprises in the nominations include Kanye taking four of the five nominations for both the top Christian song and the top gospel song.
This year’s BBMA sees the addition of five new categories this year, four of which are based on Billboard’s first authoritative global charts and one measuring viral songs. The total number of categories is now 62.
The Billboard global charts nominations are based on songs performance based on streams and download sales both worldwide but excluding the United States.
The new categories named are top Billboard Global 200 artists, which see Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, and The Weeknd being the finalists, while the other new categories are top Billboard Global Excl. U.S. artist, top Billboard Global 200 song, and top Billboard Global Excl U.S. song.
British singer Ed Sheeran is a finalist in all four of the new global categories for his song “Bad Habits.”
Entries in this year’s awards take into consideration works from March 26, 2021, through March 17, 2022. Nominees 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 Luminate (formerly MRC Data),” Billboard said.
The BBMA has been around for more than 30 years and is strictly based on music performance on the Billboard charts.