The BBMAs: Taylor Swift’s Official Awards Season Kickoff

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It’s hard to imagine that Taylor Swift still has any “Blank Space” left in her trophy case, but if she does, it’s about to get filled up. The megastar is all but certain to sweep the Billboard Music Awards when it airs this Sunday, May 17, on ABC. And that’ll be just the first stop on what promises to be a busy awards season for her. It will be followed by the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30, the American Music Awards in late November, and the Grammys next February.

Swift received 14 nominations in 13 categories at the Billboard awards. (She’s competing with herself for Top Streaming Song—Video.) So she could be headed for one of the biggest sweeps since the show relaunched in 2011. Adele won 12 awards three years ago.

Swift is again competing for the top prize, Top Artist, which she first won two years ago. She is vying to become the first artist to win twice in that category since the show relaunched. (Destiny’s Child and 50 Cent were the only artists to win twice in that category in the first incarnation of the show, from 1990 through 2007.)

Swift would also be the first two-time winner for Top Female Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album since the show’s relaunching. What’s more, she’s vying to win as Top Billboard 200 Artist for the third time in the past five years — a clear sign of both her dominance and her productivity.

It’s striking that Swift is still an awards frontrunner this deep into her career. Nearly nine years have passed since she landed her first chart hit, “Tim McGraw.” It has been nearly eight years since she accepted the CMA Horizon Award by quipping, “This is definitely the highlight of my senior year.”

The usual pattern is that an artist’s awards mojo fades over time. New artists come along and steal that thunder. But Swift has endured as an awards magnet. By one count, she has won 256 awards.

Artists love to walk up and get Billboard Music Awards, Moonmen, and American Music Awards, but there’s one award that matters most, and that’s the Grammy. Swift has a good chance of making Grammy history next February. She may well become the first female artist to win Album of the Year twice for her own albums. She first won for her sophomore album, Fearless. (Lauryn Hill, Alison Krauss, and Norah Jones have each won Album of the Year twice, but only once, in each case, for their own albums.)

Swift is also likely to receive a Record of the Year Grammy nom for her #1 smash “Blank Space.” It would be her fourth nomination in that top category. Only two women in Grammy history have received four Record of the Year nominations. Barbra Streisand leads the female pack with five. Beyoncé has amassed four (counting one with Destiny’s Child).

Will Swift make history at the Billboard Music Awards? We’ll find out soon enough. We’ll have to wait until February to see if she makes history at the Grammys.