The weekend will be almost over when the 2016 Billboard Music Awards take place Sunday night, May 22, but The Weeknd could just be getting started: The R&B singer leads the nominations, the magazine announced Monday, with 19 nods in 16 categories.
The Canadian crooner, 25, born Abel Tesfaye, is up against Adele, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and his fellow Torontonian and longtime supporter Drake for the main prize, Top Artist. Other categories in which he’s contending include Top Male Artist, Top R&B Artist, and both Top Billboard 200 and Hot 100 Artist, as well as Top Song Sales, Top Radio Songs and Top Streaming Songs Artist. His album “Beauty Behind The Madness” and several singles also are up for awards.
On his heels is another Canadian, 22-year-old Bieber, with 12 nominations including Artist, Male Artist, and Social Media Artist, a category he shares with Swift, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato.
Rappers Drake, 29, and Fetty Wap, 24, each have 11 nominations including Male Artist, with Ed Sheeran, 25, filling the remaining slot in that category. Fetty Wap is also up for Top New Artist, alongside OMI, Charlie Puth, Silentó and Bryson Tiller. Taylor Swift, 26, and Adele, 27, are tied with eight nominations, and vie with Gomez, Grande and Rihanna for Top Female Artist.
Top Duo/Group nominees are Maroon 5, One Direction, twenty one pilots, the Rolling Stones and U2. The latter two also are up for Top Touring Artist, as are Swift, Madonna and One Direction.
Ludacris and Ciara will host the awards, airing on ABC, from Las Vegas.
Billboard Music Awards finalists are chosen based on what the magazine calls “key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social interactions on” social media.