Drake, Justin Bieber to vie for American Music Awards

Stratford, Ont.'s Justin Bieber and Toronto's Drake have each earned three nominations for the upcoming American Music Awards, including rival nods for artist of the year.

Rihanna, Nicki Minaj lead the race with 4 nominations each

Drake, seen at a charity basketball game in Kentucky in September, has earned three American Music Award nominations, including for artist of the year. (James Crisp/Associated Press)

Stratford, Ont.’s Justin Bieber and Toronto’s Drake have each earned three nominations for the upcoming American Music Awards, including rival nods for artist of the year.

Christina Aguilera announced the AMA nominations Tuesday in Los Angeles. The American Music Awards, created by the late Dick Clark in 1973, typically centres on top-selling artists because the prize is voting on by industry music buyers.

Selected AMA categories

  • Artist of the year: Justin Bieber, Drake, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Rihanna.
  • New artist: J. Cole, fun., Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen, One Direction.
  • Male artist, pop/rock: Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Usher.
  • Female artist, pop/rock: Kelly Clarkson, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna.
  • Band, duo or group, pop/rock: fun., Maroon 5, One Direction, The Wanted.

Another Canadian nominee, Mission, B.C.’s Carly Rae Jepsen, is up for best new artist. The Call Me Maybe singer will be competing against J. Cole, Gotye, indie pop band Fun and British boy band sensation One Direction.

Overall, the lead contenders for AMAs are Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who garnered four nominations each, including best female artist.

Bieber and Drake face competition from American pop group Maroon 5, pop starlet Katy Perry and Rihanna for the artist of the year title.

Meanwhile, Drake’s Take Care is nominated for best hip-hop album, a category that also includes Minaj’s Pink Friday. The Toronto rapper will also vie for best rap artist.

Bieber, still in the spotlight three years after the release of his breakthrough album My World 2.0, is nominated for best pop album for his follow-up Believe, as well as for best male artist.

Maroon 5, One Direction and Usher earned three nominations each, while Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan and Chris Brown have two apiece.

In the country categories, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and newcomer Eric Church are up for best male artist while Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood will compete for best female artist.

Swift won last year’s top prize: artist of the year.

The 2012 American Music Awards will be held Nov. 18 in Los Angeles and broadcast on ABC.