The battle to win 2012 American Music Awards begins as this year's nominees are announced. Nicki Minaj and Rihanna dominate the pack by scoring four nods each, overshadowing teen heartthrob Justin Bieber and popular boyband One Direction. The males get three noms each along with Drake, Usher and Maroon 5.
Riri is vying for the top honor, Artist of the Year, against Bieber, Drizzy, Adam Levine's band and her best friend Katy Perry. She once again faces off Katy in Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock which additionally lists Nicki and Kelly Clarkson as other contenders. Her two other nods are Favorite Female Artist and Album in Soul/R&B categories.
Nicki, meanwhile, adds three other noms in Favorite Artist & Album in Rap/Hip-Hop genre and Favorite Album in Pop/Rock field. "4 nominations?!?!?! Whoa! Thank you so very much to the American Music Awards. Very, very grateful. Luvu Barbz!!! mmmmuuuaaaahhhh!!!!" gushes the new female judge of "American Idol" on Twitter.
Besides the top prize, Bieber is up for Favorite Male Artist and Album in Pop/Rock, while Niall Horan and his pals are battling for Favorite Album and Band, Duo or Group in Pop/Rock. The boys are also nominated for New Artist of the Year along with such newbies as J. Cole, Fun., Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Winners are determined via online voting, which starts on Tuesday, October 9. The most-voted artists will be handed the awards in a ceremony airing live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on ABC on November 18. Christina Aguilera is the first star confirmed as a performer. More musical guests are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Artist of the Year: