Complete List of Finalists for 2012 Billboard Music Awards + 35 Best Moments Ever



Adele, LMFAO and Rihanna are among the lead finalists for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, with Adele snagging spots in 18 different categories. Rihanna is up against the "21" singer in the prestigious Top Artist category, which also includes top finalists Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Katy Perry. Meanwhile, the Top New Artist category is full of fresh talent, with finalists Bad Meets Evil, Big Sean, Foster the People, Scotty McCreery and Wiz Khalifa.

The 2012 Billboard Music Awards will take place at Las Vegas' MGM Grand and be broadcast live Sunday May 20, 8/7c on ABC. Music fans can also follow news about the show and related events on Twitter at @Billboard or on Facebook.com/Billboard.



The awards will reflect Billboard's chart rankings based on key fan interactions with music, including album sales and downloads, track downloads, radio airplay and touring as well as streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Youtube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music.

These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound. The awards will be based on the reporting period of March 1, 2011 through February 29, 2012. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, including R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative.

Top Artist:
Adele
Lady Gaga
Lil Wayne
Katy Perry
Rihanna

Top New Artist:
Bad Meets Evil
Big Sean
Foster The People
Scotty McCreery
Wiz Khalifa

Top Male Artist:
Justin Bieber
Chris Brown
Drake
Lil Wayne
Bruno Mars

Top Female Artist:
Adele
Lady Gaga
Nicki Minaj
Katy Perry
Rihanna

Top Duo/Group:
The Black Eyed Peas
Coldplay
Lady Antebellum
LMFAO
Maroon 5

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Adele
Justin Bieber
Michael Buble
Lady Gaga
Lil Wayne

Top Hot 100 Artist:
Adele
LMFAO
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Rihanna

Top Digital Songs Artist:
Adele
LMFAO
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Rihanna

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Adele
Katy Perry
Bruno Mars
Nicki Minaj
Rihanna

Top Touring Artist:
Bon Jovi
Taylor Swift
Take That
U2
Roger Waters

Top Social Artist:
Justin Bieber
Eminem
Lady Gaga
Rihanna
Shakira

Top Streaming Artist:
Lil Wayne
LMFAO
Nicki Minaj
Bruno Mars
Rihanna

Top Digital Media Artist:
Adele
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga
Lil Wayne
Rihanna

Top Pop Artist:
Adele
Lady Gaga
LMFAO
Katy Perry
Rihanna

Top R&B Artist:
Beyonce
Chris Brown
Cee Lo Green
Miguel
Rihanna

Top Rap Artist:
Drake
Lil Wayne
LMFAO
Nicki Minaj
Wiz Khalifa

Top Country Artist:
Jason Aldean
Zac Brown Band
Lady Antebellum
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift

Top Rock Artist:
The Black Keys
Coldplay
Foster The People
Foo Fighters
Mumford & Sons

Top Alternative Artist:
The Black Keys
Coldplay
Foster The People
Foo Fighters
Mumford & Sons

Top Latin Artist:
Mana
Pitbull
Prince Royce
Romeo Santos
Shakira

Top Dance Artist:
David Guetta
Lady Gaga
LMFAO
Rihanna
Britney Spears

Top Christian Artist:
Casting Crowns
MercyMe
Skillet
Laura Story
Chris Tomlin








35. Mary J. Blige and Lil Wayne strike a pose at the 2011 Awards.


34. Diana Ross got all wrapped up in Stevie Wonder (and ruffles) for her performance at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards, during which she sang a tribute to Wonder.


33. Wearing Buzz Lightyear-inspired outfits, TLC's "Chilli" and "Left Eye" made sure "T-Boz" wasn't forgotten about at the '95 Billboard Music Awards.


32. The Spice Girls made the trip from the U.K. to Vegas for the 1997 awards, where they won Album of the Year for "Spice."


31. Jennifer Lopez, who will take the stage again at this year's Billboard Music Awards, gave her back-up dancers a sexy workout during her 1999 rave-tinged performance of "Waiting For Tonight."


30. The Icon recipient, Neil Diamond, performs for adoring fans at 2011 Billboard Music Awards.


29. 2001 was a massive year for the boys of 'N SYNC, who released their final album "Celebrity" that year, and the band's grand entrance at the awards reflected such.


28. An emerging Pink showed her unique stuff on stage at the Billboard Music Awards in 2001.


27. No Doubt's Gwen Stefani struck a pose alongside her Harajuku Girls dancers at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards.


26. Beyonce plagarizes, rips off, and flat out steals Lorella Cuccarini's performance, proving that she is indeed the biggest fraud in Hollywood today.


25. Beyonce, again stealing ideas, this time from Eminem's VMA performance.


24. Backstage at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, pop balladeer Celine Dion bonded over bare midriffs with country star Shania Twain. (Celine, gurl, even Madoldna wouldn't wear that outfit. Cover your ass up.)


23. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog stole the show at 2003's Billboard Music Awards.


22. R. Kelly, who snagged two producer awards and two songwriter awards at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, also took to the stage for a performance of his mega-hit "Ignition (Remix)."


21. Kanye West's style has certainly evolved since 2004, but the rapper was still winning acclaim -- for Best Rap Artist -- at the '04 awards


20. Selena and Justin deliver the fakest, most uncomfortable kiss since MJ & Lisa Marie.


19.Godney and then-husband Kevin Federline were mean-mugging with their dog on the red carpet at 2004's awards


18. At the 1998 awards, Courtney Love rocked the Vegas stage alongside her Hole bandmates, celebrating the release of their album "Celebrity Skin."


17. The unlikely duo of Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige led a spirited finale performance of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" during the 2001 Billboard Music Awards. (OMG i didn't know they performed this song! BRB, youtubing now.)


16. R. Kelly led an ode to Hurricane Katrina at the 2005 awards, with the spiritual song "Let Your Light Shine."


15. We had seen Steven Tyler pair up with Run-DMC, but Busta Rhymes was a new, surprising collaborator at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards.


14. In 2006, Janet Jackson treated viewers to a medley of songs both new and old, performing "Control," "Pleasure Principle" and "So Excited." (Someone allowed Janet Jackson back on a televised event? Clutch dem tatas girl, clutch dem tight.)


13. Via telecast at the '02 Billboard Music Awards, Chris Tucker presented Michael Jackson with a special Billboard Award for his chart history-making album "Thriller."


12. This asslicking tryhard breaks his leg and still finds a way to demean and objectify women while bound in a wheelchair. Truly a great moment for humanity.


11. A teenaged Rihanna wins Female Artist of the Year -- an award she is nominated for again this year -- at the Billboard Music Awards in 2006.


10. A young Britney Spears showed off impressive moves -- including a backflip -- during her performance of "Baby One More Time" and "Crazy" at the 1999 awards.


09. Mariah Carey was still an emerging artist in 1991, but the singer's legendary voice scored her a Billboard Music Award in '91.


08. Comedians Kathy Griffin and Adam Carolla may have been the hosts of the '99 awards, but Blink-182 stole the show in a naked stunt a la their "What's My Age Again?" video. (should be higher on this list, lbr)


07. 1998's Billboard Music Awards was a victorious one for Lauryn Hill, who performed and won the honor of R&B Album of the Year.


06. On the red carpet at 1995's Billboard Music Awards, east coast rapper Notorious B.I.G. showed off his bling -- and won big for his single "Big Poppa."


05. On the red carpet at the 1993 Billboard Music Awards, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown showed that as man and wife, they've mastered the coordinating outfits routine.


04. At the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, Stevie Wonder had the honor of presenting classic crooner Tony Bennett with the Billboard Century Award.


03. 1990 -- the year following her concept album "Rhythm Nation 1814" -- was a victorious one for Janet Jackson, who walked away with the most awards at '90's BBMAs.


02. The Brothers Gibb of the Bee Gees showed off winning -- and matching -- style at the at the Billboard Number 1 Music Awards, a precursor to the BBMAs.


01. RIHANNA AND THE HOLY SPEARIT DELIVER THE MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE IN BILLBOARD HISTORY. Rihanna and Britney have a massive on-stage pillow fight to open up the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.


AND THE CROWD GOES WIIIIIIIIIILD!!!!!




-Billboard