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Rihanna Leads Finalists for Billboard Music Awards

Magic Touch: Rihanna | U.S. album sales: 6,582,000
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Rihanna

Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber also were cited in multiple categories.

Rihanna, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber lead the finalists for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, which were announced Wednesday at a press conference in Las Vegas.

Rihanna takes the lead as a finalist in 18 award categories, including Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Artist and Top Dance/Electronic Artist. "Love the Way You Lie," her chart-topping collaboration with Eminem, places her as a contender in six song categories.

Meanwhile, Eminem is a finalist in 16 award categories, including Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Rap Artist.

Lady Gaga follows as a finalist in 12 categories, with three releases all competing for Top Dance/Electronic Album: The Fame, The Fame Monster and The Remix.

Mars and Bieber will each vie for 11 categories and face off for Top New Artist and Top Male Artist. Other Top New Artist contenders are Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Taio Cruz, whose song "Dynamite" is up for five awards, including Top Hot 100 Song.

The winners will be announced at the Billboard Music Awards show airing on ABC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 22. Rihanna is among the night's scheduled performers.

The Billboard Music Awards take a holistic look at artist performance based on key fan interactions with music -- finalists and winners are determined by chart performance and social and streaming activity as chronicled in Billboard magazine and on Billboard.com during the eligibility period of Feb, 28, 2010 and Mar. 1, 2011.

The 46 award categories are based on measures provided by Billboard's data partners including sales data shared by Nielsen SoundScan, radio airplay monitored by Nielsen BDS, streaming data measured by Tubemogul and Nielsen BDS, social media consumption gauged by Next Big Sound and tour grosses tracked by Billboard Boxscore.

The 2011 Billboard Music Awards is co-executive produced by Richard Beckman, CEO of Prometheus Global Media, which owns Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, and Don Mischer of Don Mischer Productions.

A complete list of finalists can be found here.