One Direction have also been nominated as the year's top new artist(s). Their rivals in that category range from Gentleman-ly Psy to the ho hey-ing Lumineers, plus Gotye and pop-star Carly Rae Jepsen. The quintet is also in the running for top duo/group, top Billboard 200 artist, top pop artist and top pop album – where both 2011's Up All Night and 2012's Take Me Home are contenders.
Despite these accolades, One Direction are not the biggest beneficiaries of Billboard's list of finalists. Swift, Maroon 5 and the alt-rock band Fun are each nominated in 11 categories, with Rihanna trailing at 10 nods. Jepsen, whose success can mostly be chalked up to one undeniable "tune", has nine nominations.
Traditionally dominated by pop music, the Billboard Music awards will this year have several categories for electronic dance music. Veterans like Skrillex, Calvin Harris and David Guetta are all in contention, with competition from the 23-year-old upstart Baauer, whose Harlem Shake became a viral sensation earlier this year.
Still, the biggest name on Billboard's list of finalists is probably its oldest: Prince. The 54-year-old star will receive this year's Billboard Icon gong, as well as performing at the Las Vegas gala. Other scheduled performers include Bieber, Swift, Bruno Mars and Miguel. Comedian Tracy Morgan will host the proceedings.
Adele was the toast of the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, earning 12 trophies including top artist. She did not attend the ceremony.
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image: © Eva Rinaldi