2015 Billboard Music Awards

Gina Mantica '16

Assistant Arts Editor

The finalists for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards were recently released, and to no one’s surprise, a few familiar faces seemed to dominate the list of categories. Taylor Swift leads the pack as the artist with the most nominations (14 in 13 categories) and is followed closely by Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor.  According Billboard’s official website, “Finalists are based on album and digital song sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social-media interactions.” Swift, Smith, Azalea and Trainor all dominated the music industry in these respects over the past year, which explains their incredibly high number of nominations.

The Top Artist category has some tough competitors, including Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift and One Direction. Each artist has contributed significantly to global pop culture over the past year through his or her music, and each deserves to win that award. However, there can only be one winner. Based on album and digital song sales alone, Swift has an excellent chance of winning. Swift’s album “1989” has dominated the billboard charts since it was released last October. In addition, the album sold four million copies in the 12 weeks following its release.

One disappointing category this year is Top Country Artist. Though males dominate country music, there are a plethora of fiercely talented female artists who have topped the charts over the past year. However, only men are represented in this year’s Top Country Artist category. The finalists include Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert and Blake Shelton. There is, however, one female entry in the Top Country Album category — Miranda Lambert’s album, “Platinum.” However, “Platinum” is up against Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party,” which surged in popularity last summer and continues to remain a favorite on the local country airwaves. Certainly, “Crash My Party” will be the album to beat in the Top Country Album category.

It is projected that Top Soundtrack will be awarded to “Frozen.” When the movie came out, it seemed like every single human being on the planet knew the words to Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go.” Since its release in Nov. 2013, hundreds of “Let It Go” parodies have been created and the song has become somewhat infamous in American pop culture.

This year, there will be one fan-voted award, the Billoard Chart Achievement Award. Fans will be able to vote online and through Twitter for Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor to see who takes home the award. Due to the social media aspect of this award, Swift is projected to win. Swift’s fans have a strong social media presence, and she has heightened their interests in using social media through her interactions both on and offline, including the delivery of presents directly to some fans’ doorsteps. These attributes might also help Swift take home the award for Top Social Artist. Other entries in this category include Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande.

The Billboard Music Awards, hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigan, will air  on ABC on Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m.