There is nothing small about this Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena airing live on ABC at 8 ET hosted by “30 Rock”’s Tracy Morgan. Just consider for a moment the sheer star power of those appearing: living legends like Prince and Madonna; pop superstars like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars; and the next generation of luminaries like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miguel, the Band Perry and Ed Sheeran, among many others.
Prince, one of the most inspirational and influential musicians of all time, will perform at Sunday’s ceremony and is being honored with Billboard’s prestigious Icon Award. Other performers include Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez, the Band Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, Akon, Ne-Yo, David Guetta and Icona Pop.
Madonna will be honored with the Top Touring Artist award, an achievement earned by the worldwide success of her MDNA tour which sold out all of its 88 date run and was 2012's top-grossing tour with $305 million. It's the pop icon's latest chart landmark in a career full of them, including records for Hot 100 top 10 singles (38 of her overall 56 Hot 100 hits) and Dance Club Songs No. 1s (43). Her MDNA album bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 -- her eighth trip to the penthouse -- with sales of 359,000.
Bieber, Swift and Mars are also vying for the Milestone Award, a fan-driven honor that one voter will get to present at the show alongside Cee Lo Green.
Swift, fun. and Maroon 5 top the finalists at the 2013 awards, with each included in 11 categories. Rihanna competes in 10 categories, including Top Artist against Swift, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber and One Direction, while a pair of younger artists -- Carly Rae Jepsen and 1D themselves -- are finalists in nine and eight categories, respectively.
Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital singles sales, radio airplay, touring, streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, VEVO, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements were tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound.
Stay tuned for more special Billboard Music Award announcements this week.