R&B newcomer Alicia Keys leads the field for the 2001 Billboard Music Awards as a finalist in eight categories, including female artist of the year, new artist of the year, and R&B/hip-hop alb

R&B newcomer Alicia Keys leads the field for the 2001 Billboard Music Awards as a finalist in eight categories, including female artist of the year, new artist of the year, and R&B/hip-hop album of the year for her J Records debut, "Songs in A Minor." Right behind is Shaggy with nods in seven categories, including artist of the year and album of the year for "Hotshot" (MCA). The awards will be presented live Dec. 4 on Fox from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Other acts that are finalists in multiple categories include Destiny's Child, Musiq Soulchild, Ja Rule, and Lifehouse with five; Jennifer Lopez, Nelly, Janet Jackson, Tim McGraw, R. Kelly, and Staind with four; and 112, Linkin Park, Backstreet Boys, the Beatles, Jay-Z, Outkast, Kenny Chesney, and Toby Keith with three.

As previously reported, comedian/actor Bernie Mac will host this year's event. Performances are confirmed from Keys, No Doubt, Incubus, 'N Sync, McGraw, and Shaggy. Artists due to make appearanes are Destiny's Child, Sting, Jackson, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Creed, Lifehouse, Blink-182, Pink, Joe, Aaron Carter, Godsmack, Mandy Moore, Ludacris, R. Kelly, Lil' Romeo, Lee Ann Womack, Jamie O'Neal, and Petey Pablo.

The awards, which are based on Billboard's definitive year-end charts, honor the year's No. 1 artists, albums, and songs as determined by the record-buying public and radio airplay statistics.

For a full list of finalists for the 2001 Billboard Music Awards, click here.