Country ingenue Taylor Swift and dead pop star Michael Jackson led the contenders for the 37th annual American Music Awards, and will both vie for the artist of the year prize, organizers said on Tuesday.
Swift scored six nominations, followed by Jackson with five and rapper Eminem with four. R&B star Beyonce, hip-hop band the Black Eyed Peas, pop singer Lady Gaga, rock band Kings of Leon and jailed rapper T.I. collected three nominations each.
Nominees are determined by radio airplay and retail sales, while members of the public determine the winners through online voting.
Swift's second album "Fearless" was one of the biggest sellers in both 2008 and 2009, while Jackson's sales soared in the wake of his June death from a drug overdose.
Besides Swift and Jackson, the other contenders for artist of the year were Lady Gaga, Eminem and Kings of Leon.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on November 22. ABC will broadcast in the United States. The first batch of confirmed performers includes Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez and "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert.
This marks the third year that online voting has been available. Winners used to be decided by a poll of 20,000 music buyers, but producers decided to make the event more inclusive in the wake of slumping ratings. The move seems to have worked, with last year's show attracting 12.2 million viewers, up from a low of 10.9 million in 2006.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Walsh)
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