This year’s American Music Awards are a mix of new and old. Two spankin’-new artists, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, were nominated for six and five awards, respectively. And Halsey, still a relative newcomer, is nominated for artist of the year for the first time.
At the other extreme, Elton John, who was nominated for favorite pop/rock male artist at the very first AMAs in 1974, is nominated for tour of the year. And Billy Ray Cyrus, who won two AMAs in 1993 on his first achy breaky run at stardom, has four noms this year for “Old Town Road,” his megahit collab with Lil Nas X.
Post Malone is this year’s top nominee, with seven noms. He’s defending his 2018 win as favorite male artist — pop/rock. If he wins, he’ll become the first artist to win back-to-back awards in that category since Michael Bolton in 1992-93. Fun Fact: Post was nominated for new artist of the year two years ago, but lost to the not-exactly-new Niall Horan.
Taylor Swift is nominated for five awards this year. If she wins just one, she’ll tie Michael Jackson, a 24-time AMA winner, as the top winner in the show’s history. If she wins two, the record is hers alone. Swift also extends her record as the artist with the most noms for artist of the year. This is her sixth. She has won in that category a record four times.
Swift lands her fifth nom for favorite album — pop/rock. That puts her in a tie with Jackson and Eagles for the most noms in the history of the category. If Swift wins, she’ll tie Jackson and Justin Bieber for the most wins in the history of the category.
Swift is also defending her 2018 title as favorite female artist — pop/rock. If she wins, she’ll be the first artist to win back-to-back awards in that category since Celine Dion in 1998-99. This would be her fourth overall win in the category, putting her in a tie with Whitney Houston and Olivia Newton-John for the most wins in the category’s history.
Eilish is vying to become the first female solo artist to win for favorite artist — alternative rock. She is just the second female solo artist to be nominated in that category, following Lorde (2014).
After 20 years of stardom, P!nk could finally win her first AMA this year. She has two chances. She’s nominated for tour of the year and favorite artist — adult contemporary. These are P!nk’s seventh and eighth AMA noms.
Carrie Underwood has two nominations this year. If she wins even one of them, she’ll pull ahead of Rihanna on the AMAs’ all-time winners list. The two megastars are currently tied for seventh place with 13 wins each. Underwood is vying to win her seventh award as favorite female artist — country. Only Reba McEntire has won more awards in that category (11). Underwood is vying for her sixth award for favorite album — country. That would enable her to pull ahead of Kenny Rogers, with whom she is currently tied with five wins each in the category.
Khalid is vying to win favorite male artist — soul/R&B for the second year in a row. He would be the first artist to win back-to-back awards in that category since Usher won three in a row in 2010-12.
Kane Brown is seeking to defend his 2018 title for favorite album — country and favorite male artist — country. He would be the first artist to win the country album award two years running since Underwood in 2007-08.
Lauren Daigle is vying to win her third consecutive award for favorite artist — contemporary inspirational. She would be the first artist to win three years running in that category.
Female artists take three of the five nominations for both artist of the year and new artist of the year. This is the second year in a row that they’ve dominated the new artist category.
In 15 of the 29 categories, a little more than half, last year’s winner is nominated again this year.
dick clark productions, producer of the American Music Awards, is owned by Valence Media, which also owns Billboard.