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The Billboard Music Awards seem to go chronically under-discussed. Awards such as the Emmys, Oscars, and Grammys become all the talk of the town in the time between nominations and the ceremony, but the BBMAs just don’t receive as much attention. This gulf in popularity might be surprising given the omnipresence of the artists nominated.
Cardi B, for example, received 21 nominations in 18 categories this year — and nobody can argue that Cardi B has been anything less than ubiquitous in pop culture following her 2017 hit “Bodak Yellow.” Drake, who has been similarly impossible to escape for pretty much the entire decade, broke a record at this year’s BBMAs — 27 total all-time BBMA nominations, thanks to his 12 2019 wins — yet still, the BBMAs aren’t covered to the same extent or depth that other ceremonies are.
Or perhaps this difference is unsurprising: Unlike at most other awards ceremonies, a voting panel does not determine the BBMA nominees. Billboard determines nominees by analyzing the streaming, album and digital songs sales, touring, radio airplay, and social engagement data that it, alongside Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound, regularly gathers. Some have called this approach to awards unexciting and unimaginative.
This year’s BBMAs took place May 1st. Check out a list of the winners in some key categories below, preceded by a rundown of which artists received the greatest number of awards and nominations.
Cardi B – 21
Drake – 17
Post Malone – 17
Travis Scott – 12
XXXTentacion – 10
Ariana Grande – 9
Drake – 12
Cardi B – 6
Maroon 5 – 4
Ella Mai – 3
Luke Combs – 3
Lauren Daigle – 3
Ozuna – 3
Other nominees: Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Travis Scott
Top New Artist
Winner: Juice WRLD
Other nominees: Bazzi, Lil Baby, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai
Top Male Artist
Other nominees: Post Malone, Travis Scott, Ed Sheeran, XXXTentacion
Top Female Artist
Winner: Ariana Grande
Other nominees: Cardi B, Halsey, Ella Mai, Taylor Swift
Other nominees: Dan + Shay, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Panic! At The Disco
Top Billboard 200 Artist
Other nominees: Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Travis Scott, XXXTentacion
Top Hot 100 Artist
Other nominees: Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Juice WRLD, Post Malone
Top Billboard 200 Album
Winner: Drake, Scorpion
Other nominees: Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy; Post Malone, beerbongs & bentleys; Travis Scott, ASTROWORLD; XXXTentaction, ?
Top Hot 100 Song
Winner: Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B “Girls Like You” — WINNER
Other nominees: Post Malone, “Better Now”; Travis Scott, “SICKO MODE”; Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”; Juice WRLD, “Lucid Dreams”
Top Streaming Song (Audio)
Winner: Travis Scott, “SICK MODE”
Other nominees: Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvi, “I Like It”; Juice WRLD, “Lucid Dreams”; Post Malone, “Better Now”; XXXTentacion, “SAD!”
Top Streaming Song (Video)
Winner: Drake, “In My Feelings”
Other nominees: Juice WRLD, “Lucid Dreams”; Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B, “Girls Like You”; Travis Scott, “SICKO MODE”; XXXTentacion, “SAD!”
Which artists, songs, albums, or videos do you think deserved to win more (or less) at the BBMAs? Let us know in the comments!