Imagine Dragons, Lorde, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Miley Cyrus lead the nominations for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
Atop the pack of nominees, which were unveiled Wednesday morning, are Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons and 17-year-old New Zealand pop prodigy Lorde, who both scored 12 nods.
Imagine Dragons and Lorde dominated radio last year with inescapable hits. The quintet’s Grammy-winning smash “Radioactive” made Billboard history in February after spending a record-breaking 77 weeks on the trade publication’s Hot 100 chart, and Lorde’s biting, yet ubiquitous, hit “Royals” nabbed her the honor of being the youngest artist to win song of the year at the Grammys. The two will square off in nine categories, including Hot 100 artist, digital song, radio songs artist, top rock artist and rock album.
Lorde is also up for new artist against Capital Cities, Ariana Grande and Passenger.
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Timberlake scored 11 nods, including top artist and Billboard 200 album for his comeback opus, “The 20/20 Experience” (the two-part album even competes with itself in the R&B album category).
Perry is up for 10, including top artist, top female and Hot 100 artist, and breakout Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are in the running for eight trophies.
Cyrus, whose transition from Disney princess to urban pop provocateur has yet to pay off with any actual awards, could see her luck reversed on the Billboard stage. The headline-grabber is up for nine, including top artist, top female, Hot 100 artist and top streaming artist.
Finalists for Billboard’s Milestone award, which was launched last year to honor musical ingenuity and innovation (Justin Bieber won the inaugural fan-voted award to mostly jeers) are Imagine Dragons, John Legend, Luke Bryan, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding and Carrie Underwood. The six finalists will be whittled down to three and fans logging their votes online can also enter a contest to present the honor alongside Kelly Rowland during the telecast.
Other notable nominees include Beyoncé, whose surprise album is up for a slew of honors, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Luke Bryan and Eminem.
The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 18 on ABC.