In this video grab issued Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, by MTV, The Weeknd performs “Blinding Lights” during the MTV Video Music Awards. (MTV via AP)

In this video grab issued Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, by MTV, The Weeknd performs “Blinding Lights” during the MTV Video Music Awards. (MTV via AP)

Justin Bieber and the Weeknd among top American Music Award nominees

AMA Awards ceremony will air live on Nov. 22

LOS ANGELES — The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch are the leading nominees for this year’s American Music Awards with eight apiece.

Both will compete for artist of the year against Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Taylor Swift, it was announced Monday.

Megan Thee Stallion is the next leading nominee with five, including for new artist of the year. Other contenders include Ricch, Lewis Capaldi, Doja Cat, DaBaby and Lil Baby.

The Weeknd will compete in various other categories which include favourite music video and favourite pop/rock song for his track “Blinding Lights” and favourite soul/R&B song for “Heartless.”

The Toronto-bred singer, born Abel Tesfaye, has been enjoying a sensational year for his latest album. “After Hours” was released in March and stayed atop the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for four consecutive weeks, marking the first release to do so since Drake’s 2018 album “Scorpion.”

He will soon appear on Ariana Grande’s upcoming album, “Positions.”

This year’s AMA Awards ceremony will feature several new categories, including new rap and hip-hop honours and several new awards for Latin music.

The event will be held at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater and air live on ABC on Nov. 22.

Most music awards shows have foregone live audiences or moved performances outdoors as a precaution against the coronavirus. Many, like the BET Awards, Country Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards, have opted for a mix of live and pre-taped performances.

Several nominees were announced by Dua Lipa on “Good Morning America.”

Swift has the chance to extend her lead as the most awarded artist in AMA history — she already has 29 wins.

Swift, Bieber, Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny, DaBaby and Doja Cat all have four nominations apiece.

Billie Eilish, an awards favourite since her sweeping wins at the Grammy Awards, scored two nominations, for favourite alternative rock artist and favourite social artist.

Kanye West earned a nomination for favourite contemporary inspirational artist. If he wins, it would be his first AMA win in a dozen years.

Dan + Shay earned three nominations, including for favourite country duo or group, where they’re up against Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion.

Harry Styles could pick up his first solo award at the ceremony for his album “Fine Lines.”

Juice WRLD, who died in December, received a posthumous nomination for favourite male rap/hip-hop artist.

By The Associated Press