With new albums to promote, the timing is perfect for Sunday’s American Music Awards, where performers include top pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd.
Mars released his new album, “24K Magic,” on Friday, and a day after Thanksgiving, the Weeknd will drop “Starboy.” Gaga released “Joanne” last month.
Other big-named acts who recently released albums will also perform at the fan-voted show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, including Green Day, Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers and Sting, who will also receive the American Music Award of Merit.
John Legend, who will release a new album on Dec. 2, will perform, as will One Direction’s Niall Horan and Maroon 5, who recently dropped new singles. Kendrick Lamar will join Adam Levine and friends onstage.
It wasn’t clear if Drake, who is the leading nominee, would attend the show, airing live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern. The Grammy-winning rapper broke Michael Jackson’s record for most AMA nominations after scoring 13 nominations. Drake, however, hasn’t attended many awards shows in the last few years even when he leads in nominations.
The “Hotline Bling” performer will compete with himself in three categories: collaboration of the year (“One Dance” with Kyla and Wizkid, “Work” with Rihanna), favorite album — rap/hip-hop (“Views,” ”What a Time to Be Alive” with Future) and favorite song — soul/R&B (“One Dance,” ”Work”).
Drake is not up for the top prize — artist of the year — where the nominees include Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Carrie Underwood. Artist of the year originally included 10 nominees, among them Drake, Beyoncé and Adele, but it was later whittled to five acts by fan voting.
Rihanna, Adele, Bieber and Beyoncé also scored multiple nominations. Prince, who died earlier this year, earned a nomination for top soundtrack with “Purple Rain.” The 1984 album, which gained new attention after his death in April, will compete with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Suicide Squad: The Album.”
Presenters include Taraji P. Henson, Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana and Heidi Klum, while former “Saturday Night Live” comic Jay Pharaoh and model Gigi Hadid will host the show.
Hadid, who hosted Canada’s iHeartRadio Much Music Awards in June, joked about changing multiple times during the live show.
“Three hundred outfit changes. We’re really excited. No, I’m kidding. We’ll see. You know what, J. Lo did 10,” Hadid, 21, said of last year’s host, Jennifer Lopez. “I did five at my last award show, so maybe somewhere in between there.”
Hadid is dating former One Direction member Zayn, who is nominated for new artist of the year thanks to the success of his solo album, “Mind of Mine.”
Other performers Sunday night include twenty one pilots, Fifth Harmony, James Bay and Bieber, who will perform from his world tour in Zurich, Switzerland. Nicki Minaj will perform twice — alongside Grande and then with DJ Khaled, Future, Rick Ross and August Alsina.
AP entertainment producer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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