Thursday, October 10, 2013

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift Lead Early American Music Awards Nominations

Billboard Staff

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images Entertainment
The first batch of nominations are in for the American Music Awards, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis could be among the big winners come November.

The rap duo earned nominations in three of the five categories announced Thursday (Oct. 10) by Kelly Clarkson and Will.i.am during "Good Morning America," including a nod for Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for "Thrift Shop."

(The remaining nominations will be announced later this morning -- stay tuned for a full list.)

The nominations are highly indicative of the Seattle rapper and producer's big year. "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, topped the Hot 100 for six weeks earlier in 2013, while the Ray Dalton-featuring "Can't Hold Us" hit No. 1 for five consecutive weeks in May and June. The two singles helped Macklemore & Lewis become the first duo to place their first two singles atop the chart, and followed with "Same Love," the same-sex marriage anthem that peaked at No. 11 in the country.

Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake join the duo as fellow nominees for the awards ceremony's Artist of the Year distinction. Timberlake, who earlier this week became the second artist in 2013 to garner two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 with "The 20/20 Experience Pt. 2," also earned a nomination for Favorite Male Artist (Soul and R&B), while Swift added a nod for Favorite Female Artist (Pop or Rock) on the continued strength of her No. 1 album "Red," including Hot 100 No. 2 "I Knew You Were Trouble," "22" and current single "Everything Has Changed" with tour mate Ed Sheeran. Rihanna joined Swift in the Favorite Female Artist category, with 2012's "Apologetic" yielding Top 10 singles in "Diamonds" (No. 6) and "Stay" (No. 4) in the past year.

Joining "Thrift Shop" in the Single of the Year category are two inescapable hits from the summer of 2013. "Blurred Lines," the Robin Thicke smash that topped the Hot 100 for 12 weeks, and the remix "Cruise," Florida Georgia Line's country-pop crossover with rapper Nelly, will vie for the distinction of the year's best songs. Thicke also added a nod for Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B), while Florida Georgia Line garnered a nomination for New Artist of the Year.

Other New Artist nominees include "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips, rising rockers Imagine Dragons and teen idol Ariana Grande. Meanwhile, Miguel joins Thicke and Timberlake in the Favorite Male Artist category, while Billboard Woman of the Year P!nk stands alongside Swift and Rihanna as a Favorite Female Artist nominee.

Chances are the awards telecast could see quite a bit of skin, too. Miley Cyrus was announced as one of the performers at the ceremony, with Imagine Dragons also playing. Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the weeks leading up to the awards.

The American Music Awards will be held Sunday, Nov. 24, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC will carry the telecast, which is being produced by dick clark productions.

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