Billboard Battle Of The Bands Finalists Announced
Billboard Battle Of The Bands Finalists Announced

After Billboard.com voters selected their favorite acts among our hand-picked pool of 18 under the-radar artists across the U.S., six Billboard Battle of the Bands finalists will now advance to a head-to-head live competition, featuring a panel of judges led by Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. The finalists -- Hotels (northwest), AJ Rafael (west), Lightning Love (midwest), Otenki (southwest), Side By Side (southeast), and Gentlemen Hall (northeast) -- are vying for a coveted appearance at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on May 22.

These six artists will roadtrip to our Battle of the Bands concert on May 18 at Las Vegas' Fremont Experience. McGrath will MC the show and serve on a panel of judges that will also include Billboard staff and music industry professionals.

During the week of May 9, each of the bands will head for Las Vegas in a Chevy Cruze and document their trip in video clips that will be posted at Billboard.com/battle. The number of views each group's videos receive, along with the decision of the judges at the May 18 show, will determine the winner who will nab the coveted spot at the Billboard Music Awards, which will be broadcast live on ABC from Las Vegas' MGM Grand.

As announced yesterday (April 11), the 2011 Billboard Music Awards show will feature performances by music's hottest stars including Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Taio Cruz, among many others still to be announced. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.

The initial pool of 18 artists in the competition were selected based on a variety of factors, including Heat Score, a formula that measures online fan engagement and drives Billboard's Uncharted chart of emerging artists. All competing artists have also been given a free subscription to Billboard Pro, a new service and toolset to help artists advance their careers.