Rihanna leads nominations for upcoming Billboard Music Awards

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Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber lead the nominees for the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas on May 22, with Rihanna's 18 categories taking the largest share as a finalist.

Eminem is at 16 and Lady Gaga following with 12 nominations. Top Artist nominees are Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

Winners in 46 categories are determined by Billboard chart performance, which calculate radio airplay and sales factors. The standard music award categories are included, such as Top Rock, Rap, Pop, Latin, Dance, Alternative, and R&B, as well as Male, Female and Duo/Group.

In addition, categories including Top Digital Song and Top Streaming Song (Audio and Video) reflect the growth of social media. The Top Social Media Artist nominees are Akon, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Performers include Cee Lo Green, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj, Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, Taio Cruz, Metallica, and Britney Spears.

Top New Artist nominations go to Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and Taio Cruz, while Top Touring Artist will be awarded to either Michael Buble, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, U2 or Lady Gaga.

Other acts being recognized are Katy Perry, Usher, Drake, Shakira, Mumford & Sons, Jack Johnson, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, and more in a variety of categories.

Instead of a "favorite" title in the awards to reflect fan votes, done with similar shows such as the American Music Awards, the "top" artist, song or album refers to Billboard magazine's sales charts, including categories like Top Hot 100 Song and Top Billboard 200 Album.

The Billboard Music Awards show began in 1990 but took a hiatus in 2007. This year marks its return. The awards will be telecast in the US on ABC-TV from 8-11 pm ET.