Look for Justin Timberlake
to score a "TKO," to cite the title of his current hit, at the American Music Awards on Sunday. He's the front-runner in all five categories in which he's nominated. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
are out front in four categories; Taylor Swift
, in three.
The AMAs aren't that hard to predict. Unlike the Grammys, the AMAs are all about popularity. (Popularity never hurt at the Grammys either, but that's not what they're intended to measure.) In most cases, the best seller will win on Sunday. In a few cases, the artist or record that is hotter right now may score an upset over another nominee that has sold more copies overall.
Here are the nominees and likely winners in all 22 categories.
Artist of the Year. Nominees: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake. I discussed this category in depth in a blog that ran earlier this week. Here's a link. Bet on: Timberlake.
New Artist of the Year. Nominees: Florida Georgia Line
, Ariana Grande
, Imagine Dragons
, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
, Phillip Phillips
. Four of these acts have million-selling albums. Grande was nominated on the strength of her top 10 single, "The Way," but her album hasn't done nearly as well as the others.' If this goes to the act with the biggest album, that's Imagine Dragons. If it goes to the act with the biggest single, that's Macklemore. Here's the tie-breaker: Macklemore is also nominated for Artist of the Year. Bet on: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Single of the Year. Nominees: "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line
, "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
. Each of these songs has sold more than 6 million copies. "Thrift Shop" has sold more than 7 million, but "Blurred Lines" has sold more copies in 2013. As a result, it may seem fresher and hotter now. Bet on: Thicke.
Top Soundtrack. Nominees: Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film
, Les Miserables
, Pitch Perfect
. Pitch Perfect
sold more albums and more individual tracks than its rivals, thanks to the surprise top 10 success of Anna Kendrick's
"Cups (Pitch Perfect's When I'm Gone)." Bet on: Pitch Perfect