Teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo leads AMA nominees in debut.
LOS ANGELES – Olivia Rodrigo is having a good year as the top nominee for the American Music Awards in the first year she’s eligible.
The Disney actress and singer-songwriter exploded with the hits of her 2021 debut album “Sour,” which led to seven AMA nominations, including artist of the year and new artist of the year. Nominations were announced Thursday for the fan-voted awards show that will air from Los Angeles on ABC on November 21.
If Rodrigo wins most of the awards she’s nominated for, that would put her in good company. Olivia Newton-John and Justin Bieber are tied for four awards won in their first year nominated.
Five-time winner The Weeknd has six nominations, competing against Rodrigo in the artist of the year category alongside BTS, Ariana Grande, Drake, and Taylor Swift.
Reggaeton star Bad Bunny, R&B newcomer Giveon and Doja Cat have five nominations each. In the New Artist of the Year category, Rodrigo joins Giveon, 24KGoldn, Masked Wolf and The Kid LAROI.
Swift, who currently holds the record for the most awarded artist in AMA history, could extend her streak even further. She is nominated for three awards in total, including Favorite Pop Album for “Evermore.”
The AMAs added new categories this year, including Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Gospel Artist, and Favorite Latin Duo or Group.
Rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed in 2020, is nominated in three categories, including Favorite Hip-Hop Album and Favorite Hip-Hop Artist, and could win his first award posthumously.
Country star Morgan Wallen earned two nominations in country categories, but her recognition comes with an asterisk from MRC Live & Alternative, which produces the AMA awards.
Wallen was caught on video using a racial slur earlier in the year, leading to other award shows to disqualify him entirely or of certain categories. His 2021 album “Dangerous: The Double Album” spent 10 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart of all genres, despite controversy over his comments. He has since apologized and his music returned to country broadcasting after a temporary suspension.
MRC Live & Alternative noted in its press release that its nominations were based on the Billboard charts, but that it would not be included in the awards show because “its conduct does not align with our core values.
“We plan to evaluate your progress in undertaking meaningful work as an ally of the black community and will consider your participation in future programs,” MRC Live & Alternative said in the statement.