The nominees for the 2012 American Music Awards were announced earlier today, and the 20 categories are dotted by the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. The two West Indian divas lead the pack with four nominations each. Rihanna has continued her string of hits with her latest album, Talk That Talk although she’s gained more notoriety recently for her on-again/off-again romance with Chris Brown (who has two nominations of her own.) Meanwhile, Minaj scored a hit follow-up with Pink Friday 2: Roman Reloaded, and has become the first female rapper to score a series of radio hits since Missy Elliott almost a decade ago.

The upcoming AMAs will mark the fortieth annual ceremony, and the first since the passing of show creator Dick Clark earlier this year. I’m sure there will be a huge tribute to Dick, in addition to tributes honoring Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Robin Gibb, all of whom have taken home a number of trophies over the years (Whitney is the most honored female artist in the history of the show.) The awards will air on November 18th, and Christina Aguilera is the first performer announced. As I’m sure you know-the main difference between the AMAs and the Grammys is that they are voted on by fans as opposed to music industry insiders and artists. This is why New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, Nsync and Justin Bieber have AMAs and not Grammys.

Here’s a full list of nominees. If you have been watching the pop charts at any point in the past year, none of this should surprise you.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Justin Bieber
Drake
Maroon 5
Katy Perry
Rihanna

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

J. Cole
fun.
Gotye
Carly Rae Jepsen
One Direction

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK

Justin Bieber
Flo Rida
Pitbull
Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK

Kelly Clarkson
Nicki Minaj
Katy Perry
Rihanna

FAVORITE BAND, DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK

fun.
Maroon 5
One Direction
The Wanted

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK

Justin Bieber, “Believe”
Maroon 5, “Overexposed”
Nicki Minaj, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”
One Direction, “Up All Night”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY

Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE BAND, DUO or GROUP – COUNTRY  

Zac Brown Band
Lady Antebellum
Rascal Flatts

FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY

Luke Bryan, “Tailgates & Tanlines”
Lionel Richie, “Tuskegee”
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP

Drake
Nicki Minaj
Tyga

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP

J. Cole, “Cole World: The Sideline Story”
Drake, “Take Care”
Nicki Minaj, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B

Chris Brown
Trey Songz
Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B

Beyoncé
Mary J. Blige
Rihanna

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B

Chris Brown, “Fortune”
Rihanna, “Talk That Talk”
Usher, “Looking 4 Myself”

FAVORITE ARTIST – ALTERNATIVE ROCK

The Black Keys
Gotye
Linkin Park

FAVORITE ARTIST – ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Adele
Kelly Clarkson
Train

FAVORITE ARTIST – LATIN

Don Omar
Pitbull
Shakira

FAVORITE ARTIST – CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL

Jeremy Camp
Newsboys
tobyMac

FAVORITE ARTIST – ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)

David Guetta
Calvin Harris
Skrillex

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