Taylor Swift leads with six nods at the upcoming American Music Awards,
including a bid for artist of the year. Nominations for the AMAs are
determined by record sales and Swift has sold 1.8 million copies of
"Fearless" this year. Her album contends in both the pop/rock and
Taylor Swift could also repeat as female country artist and she vies for the first time for female pop/rock artist against -- uh oh -- Beyonce as well as another artist of the year nominee Lady Gaga. Swift's sixth nod is for adult contemporary artist.
The only album to sell better than Swift's this year is Michael Jackson's 2003 greatest hits package "Number Ones" which has moved 1.9 million units and counting. Jackson -- who co-hosted the first AMA kudocast in February 1974 with fellow teen idol Donny Osmond -- is nominated for five awards this year: artist of the year as well as both album and male artist in each of the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories.
The other artist of the year nominees are Kings of Leon -- who also earned nods for pop/rock band and alternative artist -- and Eminem, who also vies for pop/rock and rap/hip-hop male artist and rap/hip-hop album for "Relapse." Last year Kanye West won both those rap/hip-hop races with his album "Graduation" but failed to make the cut this year with his new disc "808s & Heartbreak."
The American Music Awards were launched by ABC in 1973 as a popular vote counterpoint to the industry-driven Grammy Awards. Two years earlier, the alphabet net had scored a ratings coup by programming the Grammys as a stand-alone awardcast. Paul McCartney showed up to accept an award for the busted-up Beatles and the crowd and TV viewing audience went crazy. Then when the Grammys wanted to stage their kudocast in Nashville the following year, ABC ceded the broadcast rights to CBS and began developing the AMAs.
Until 2003, the AMAs were held at the beginning of the year to celebrate the record successes of the previous calendar year. ABC shifted the awardscast to November and has benefited since 2003 from boffo ratings in that all-important sweeps month.
To vote in all 19 categories at this year's American Music Awards visit the ABC website.
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