By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., AP Entertainment Writer
Olivia Rodrigo, Kanye West and Drake are already big winners before the Billboard Music Awards officially kick off.
Rodrigo and West, known as Ye, both won the most awards with six in an untelevised ceremony on Sunday. Rodrigo, who won Best New Artist, is a finalist in the Best Female Artist category, which will be announced later during the show’s live stream.
Sean “Diddy” Combs will host the show, which will air live from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas and will air live beginning at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and its Peacock streaming service.
Drake was named Top Artist, Male Artist, Rap Artist, Male Rap Artist, and Rap Album for “Certified Lover Boy.” The rapper extended his record as the most decorated winner in awards show history with 34 wins.
Ye made his mark in faith-based categories – again: The rapper won top Christian artist for the first time, but he won top gospel artist and gospel song for the third year in a row. It also received Best Gospel Album for the second time.
Kid LAROI became a winner for the first time, racking up five wins for his song “Stay” with Justin Bieber – whose Billboard Music Award win count rose to 26.
Doja Cat won Top R&B Artist and Top R&B Female Artist for the second year in a row. She will be competing for Best R&B Album and Female Artist.
Taylor Swift – who has won the second most awards with 29 – won four awards. Bad Bunny picked up two wins while R&B duo Silk Sonic of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak took home their first-ever award for Best R&B Song thanks to “Leave the Door Open.”
The show will include performances from Travis Scott, Ed Sheeran, Becky G and other smash hit artists.
Becky G, who released the album “Esquemas” on Friday, will perform her hit song “MAMIII,” which topped Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. Sheeran will deliver a performance remotely from Northern Ireland, where he is on tour.
Scott, who is nominated in the dance/electronic music category, as well as Grammy darlings Miranda Lambert, Meghan Thee Stallion, Morgan Wallen and Silk Sonic.
Nominees are determined by Billboard chart rankings, and winners are selected based on several criteria, including their digital album and song sales, airplay and streaming success, and touring.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.