|Hillsong UNITED (ABC/Billboard Music Awards)|
MUSICThough the 2016 Billboard Music Awards will not be presented until Sunday, May 22, 2016, those up for awards have been announced including Hillsong UNITED who are a finalist in three categories including Top Christian Artist and Top Christian Album. The Weeknd leads with 16 nominations awards show. Justin Bieber follows with 11 and Drake and Fetty Wap with 10 each. Ironically, Drake is actually competing against himself for Top Rap Album as both “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and “What A Time To Be Alive” are both up for awards. Adele and Taylor Swift are tied with eight nominations each and both Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth are tied with six nominations each.
Those competing in the Gospel category include Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Big Shizz, Brian Courtney Wilson, Erica Campbell, Jonathan McReynolds, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Tasha Cobbs and Travis Greene.
Those competing in the Christian music category include Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Gavin DeGraw, Hillsong United, Joey and Rory, Lauren Daigle, MercyMe, Need to Breathe and TobyMac.
ABC released the following facts about the 2016 top finalists:
- Adele is a finalist in eight categories and is a contender to earn the most BBMA wins of any artist in history, a record currently held by Taylor Swift, with 20 wins. Adele has previously won 13 BBMAs. Swift herself is a finalist in eight 2016 BBMA categories.
- Justin Bieber is a finalist in 11 categories and could surpass Garth Brooks, who currently is the highest winning male with 19 wins, if he takes home six or more BBMA trophies. If Bieber takes home more than eight trophies, he has the chance of beating Taylor Swift’s current all-time leading record of 20, pending other results.
- Drake is a finalist in 10 categories. If he wins, he will take home his first BBMA trophy. He has previously been a finalist in 21 categories.
- First time finalist Fetty Wap is a contender in 10 categories, including Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artists, Top Rap Artist, Top Streaming Song (Audio) and Top Rap Song.
- Hillsong UNITED is a finalist in three categories including Top Christian Artist and Top Christian Album.
- Sam Hunt is a finalist in three categories – the most of any country artist this year -- including Top Country Artist and Top Country Album. If he wins, he will take home his first BBMA trophy.
- First time finalist Silentó is a contender for Top New Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Song, Top Streaming Songs Artist and Top Streaming Song (Video).
- This year could prove to be historic, in that Taylor Swift could beat her own all-time record for the most BBMA wins (she has 20), while Justin Bieber and Adele are also vying to surpass Swift's record. Swift is a finalist in eight categories this year, and thus could extend her own record, or can be caught or surpassed by Bieber (an 11 times finalist this year with 13 prior BBMA trophies) or Adele (a finalist in 8 categories this year and also with 13 all-time BBMAs to her name).
- The Weeknd is a first-time Billboard Music Award finalist and leads all artists with nods in 16 categories (including multiple songs competing in the Top Hot 100 Song and Top R&B Song categories). If he wins, he will take home his first Billboard Music Award trophy. With a near sweep of his 16 categories, The Weeknd could set the record for taking home the most trophies in one night. That single-night mark is held by Adele with 12 trophies in 2012.
- Thanks to their smash collaboration “See You Again,” Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa are finalists in six categories each, including Top New Artist for Puth, a category won by Khalifa in 2012.