Teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo leads AMA nominees in her debut
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Rodrigo is having a sweet year as the leading nominee at the American Music Awards in the first year she’s eligible.
The Disney actress and singer-songwriter broke out with hits from her 2021 debut record “Sour,” which led to seven nominations at the AMAs, including artist of the year and new artist of the year. The nominations were announced Thursday for the fan-voted awards show that will air from Los Angeles on ABC on Nov. 21.
If Rodrigo wins a majority of the awards she is 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, going up against Rodrigo in the artist of the year category along with BTS, Ariana Grande, Drake and Taylor Swift.
Reggaeton star Bad Bunny, R&B newcomer Giveon and Doja Cat each 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 further extend her streak. She is nominated for three awards 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 his recognition comes with an asterisk from MRC Live & Alternative, which produces the AMA Awards.
Wallen was caught on video using a racial slur at the beginning of the year, leading to other awards shows to disqualify him entirely or from certain categories. His 2021 album His “Dangerous: The Double Album” spent 10 consecutive weeks on the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, despite the controversy over his comments. He has since apologized and his music returned to country radio airplay after a temporary suspension.
MRC Live & Alternative noted in their press release that his nominations were based on Billboard charts, but that he would not be included in the awards show, because “his conduct does not align with our core values.
“We plan to evaluate his progress in doing meaningful work as an ally to the Black community and will consider his participation in future shows,” MRC Live & Alternative said in the statement.