Adele, Rihanna, Lil Wayne Lead 2012 Billboard Music Awards Nominees

3:50 PM PST 04/19/2012 by Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
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Adele

This year's ceremony will take place in Las Vegas on May 20.

NEW YORK -- Adele, LMFAO, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne lead the finalists for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, which will air live from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on May 20.

Adele takes the lead as a finalist in 18 award categories, including Top Artist, Top Female Artist and Top Billboard 200 Artist. "Rolling In The Deep," the lead single from her blockbuster sophomore album 21, places the U.K. singer as a contender in seven song categories.

Meanwhile, LMFAO is a finalist in 17 award categories, although the electro-pop duo actually scored 22 entries compared to Adele's 20. LMFAO and Adele will square off in the Top Hot 100 Artist category, which also includes Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Rihanna.

PHOTOS: Moments From 2011 Billboard Music Awards

 Speaking of Rihanna, the pop superstar is a finalist in 13 categories this year, after leading the pack with 18 category appearances in 2011. Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne each snagged a spot in 10 categories, and will both compete against Adele, Rihanna and Katy Perry for the prestigious Top Artist prize. And the Top New Artist category features a diverse collection of fresh talent, with Bad Meets Evil, Big Sean, Foster The People, Scotty McCreery and Wiz Khalifa serving as the 2012 finalists.

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 Feb. 29, 2012. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, including R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative.

Today, Billboard launches a microsite for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at Billboard.com/BBMA that offers up-to-the-minute updates about the upcoming ceremony. Music fans can also follow news about the show and related events on Twitter at @Billboard or on Facebook.

Tickets for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com and MGMGrand.com. The 2012 Billboard Music Awards will be co-executive produced by Richard D. Beckman, CEO of Prometheus Global Media and Don Mischer Productions.

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