As the Billboard Music Awards approach (it’s this Sunday night, May 15), it’s time to discuss which artists will take home the biggest categories of the night: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Duo/Group and the Top Artist all inclusive.
Best Male Artist
This category will be a face-to-face between Duck and The weekend. The first dominated the Year-end billboard Top of the male artists, which gives him an obvious advantage. However, the Billboard Music Awards deadline was in March, a few months after the year-end charts, which could make a difference. The Weeknd not only had more longevity than Drake, he also released a brand new album in 2022. With all that, don’t count on an upset Weeknd here, especially since he leads the nominations this year and has two more big albums in rotation (plus a greatest hits collection, “The Highlights”, which has consistently charted in the top 10). None of these artists are strangers to this award, with Drake winning in 2017 and 2019, while The Weeknd claimed victory here last year.
Best Female Artist
You can rely on Olivia Rodrigue bring this one home. The superstar had a banner year in 2021 with the success of his number one album ‘Sour’ and hit singles like ‘Good 4 U’, ‘Deja Vu’, ‘Drivers License’ and ‘Traitor’. “Sour” has remained a consistent seller and is still in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 after a year of release. Rodrigo could face competition from Taylor Swift, which has had great success in recent months with the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version)”. But while “Red” was big, “Sour” topped the charts and has been for a while, so Rodrigo might have this one safe in the bag.
This is another category where the difference between the year-end threshold and the BBMA threshold could impact the winner. BTS topped the year-end chart for Top Duo/Group, likely due to the success of their number one hit “Butter” as well as the continued success of their album “BE.” However, glass animals were second on that list and have since enjoyed even greater success with “Heat Waves,” which topped the charts earlier this year and is still in the top five as of this writing. So the question would be whether the resurgence of “Heat Waves” could have given the group enough ranking points to overtake BTS. I’m going to cautiously predict an upset here and bet on Glass Animals for the win. BTS will be fine if they lose this award anyway; they have already won it in 2019 and 2021.
While it really is anyone’s game, it will likely come down to Drake vs. Olivia Rodrigo vs. The Weeknd. Whoever wins Top Male Artist will have to face Rodrigo here, and all three artists are holding their own well. Drake’s success with “Certified Lover Boy” was huge (its opening week charted nine songs in the top 10), but The Weeknd and Rodrigo seem to have stayed in the public consciousness longer with their records. On the year-end chart, Drake was first while Rodrigo and Weeknd were second and third, respectively. To shake things up, I’m going to go ahead and predict a Rodrigo win here; the first few months of the year could have really helped him overtake Drake. And, after all, when we think of 2021, we think of Olivia Rodrigo.
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