Adele, LMFAO, Rihanna Up for Tons of 2012 Billboard Awards

Adele / Lil Wayne (Rebecca Smeyne)
Adele / Lil Wayne (Rebecca Smeyne)
Devon Maloney WRITTEN BY
Devon Maloney

The Grammys may manage to squeeze in a couple of eyebrow-raising wild-card nominees every year, but the Billboard Music Awards provide few surprises since they're based on the firm metrics the trade magazine uses to track the music biz (sales and downloads, radio airplay, tour figures, and social media presence). The 2012 finalists (not nominees!) don't stray too far from last year's — Adele, Rihanna, and LMFAO are all up for armloads of honors. Sorry, Skrillex!.

Adele, of course, leads the race, with 18 spots on the ballot. LMFAO is close behind with 17, Rihanna with 13, and Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne are tied for 10 each. Billboard counted reporting info from March 1, 2011 through February 29, 2012 to determine the folks on the ballot for this year's event, which will take place Sunday, May 20, in Las Vegas and be broadcast on ABC.

The Billboard Music Awards began in 1990, then went dormant for four years between 2007 and 2010. The show returned in 2011, when Billboard crowned Eminem its Top Artist and Justin Bieber its Top New Artist. Here's a list of faces you may see in the crowd that night. The full list of nominees can be seen on Billboard's website.

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

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