Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande among finalists for 2015 Billboard Music Awards

With help from hip-hop artist and actor Ludacris, TV host and supermodel Chrissy Teigen, Fall Out Boy musician Pete Wentz, and Empire recording artist Jussie Smollett, dick clark productions and Billboard have announced the finalists for the “2015 Billboard Music Awards,” honoring the year’s most successful artists in 41 categories.  The “2015 Billboard Music Awards” will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 17th on ABC from 8 PM–11 PM ET.  This year’s show will showcase big performances, unexpected collaborations and pop culture moments that will have everyone talking.

Ludacris and Wentz appeared in the 8 AM ET hour of ABC’s Good Morning America on April 7th to announce five of the 41 finalist categories, including: Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Hot 100 Song. Wentz also announced Fall Out Boy’s participation as a performer in this year’s Billboard Music Awards. They will be performing “Uma Thurman” with Wiz Khalifa.

The “2015 Billboard Music Awards” finalists’ announcement then went bi-coastal, with Teigen and Smollett announcing the remaining categories at a press conference in the Twitter offices in Santa Monica, CA. The press conference was live tweeted from the official Billboard Music Awards handle. Following the press conference, Teigen and Smollett participated in a live Twitter Q&A, moderated by Billboard’s Keith Caulfield.

In addition to the 40 chart specific categories, fans can vote for the special “Billboard Chart Achievement Award presented by Samsung” on Billboard.comBillboardMusicAwards.com and on Twitter. Finalists for this category include Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor. Voting opens on April 28.

Taylor Swift is top among all finalists with 14 entries in 13 categories, while Sam Smith is a finalist in an equal 13 categories with 13 entries. The two go head-to-head for eight of the show’s biggest awards including Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist and Top Digital Songs Artist. Swift is a two-time finalist for Top Streaming Song (Video) for her Billboard chart toppers “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.”

Iggy Azalea is a finalist in 11 categories with 12 entries, competing against herself for Top Rap Song for her hits “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX and “Black Widow” featuring Rita Ora. Newcomer Meghan Trainor is the artist with the fourth-most finalist categories, competing against Azalea for the title of Top New Artist, in addition to eight other categories.

Fun finalist facts include:

  • 12-time Billboard Music Award winner Taylor Swift has seen her last four albums all debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with the last three all selling more than a million copies in their first week.
  • In the past year, Iggy Azalea became the first act since The Beatles to chart at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their first two hits.
  • In less than a year’s time, Ariana Grande saw her first two albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — Yours Truly and My Everything.
  • Four-time Billboard Music Award winner Pharrell Williams has produced 38 top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including six No. 1s.
  • Latin superstar and 2012 Billboard Music Award-winner Romeo Santos saw his last album, Formula: Vol. 2, earn the largest debut for a Spanish-language album in over eight years, when it launched at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • Sam Smith’s debut studio album In the Lonely Hour reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has spun off three Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits: “Stay With Me,” “I’m Not the Only One” and “Lay Me Down.”
  • A chart veteran for more than a decade, John Legend leapt to new heights in the past year, notching his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with love ballad “All of Me.”
  • Ed Sheeran scored his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this past year with the soul-and-funk-infused “x.” The album brought Sheeran his first Billboard Hot 100 top 10, “Don’t,” and his highest-peaking Hot 100 hit, ballad “Thinking Out Loud,” which spent a lengthy two months at No. 2.
  • Hozier’s smash single “Take Me To Church” hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 23 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Rock Songs.
  • With a mix of retro-doo-wop influences and a penchant for positivity, Meghan Trainor roared in with her debut hit, “All About That Bass.” The song spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the longest leading No. 1 ever on the historic Epic Records, surpassing two Michael Jackson classics: “Billie Jean” and “Black Or White.”

Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on the reporting period of March 10, 2014 through March 8, 2015.  Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of a musician’s success.

Tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com. Fans can also choose from multiple VIP premium ticket packages which include limited edition Billboard Music Awards merchandise, an invitation to the official Billboard Music Awards post-party and so much more! VIP premium ticket packages are available at cidentertainment.com/events/billboard-music-awards/.


Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.