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Billboard Music Awards 2016: Live Stream, Start Time, and TV Schedule

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And you thought awards season was over. The Billboard Music Awards kicks off Sunday night, May 22nd, and like any major music industry awards show, we should expect some relatively juicy beef (someone will probably start a Twitter war by Sunday, right?), on-point performances (Rihanna! Britney! Celine Dion!), and more-adventurous-than-average fashion. Let's dive in!

First, some background. The Billboard Awards, as they're referred to, differ from awards shows like the Grammys in that nominees and winners are based entirely on "fan interaction" data. That means album and digital song sales, radio play, streaming, touring, and social media tracked by Billboard and others, like Nielsen Music, are all taken into account, based on data collected between March 23rd, 2015 and March 17th, 2016.

The Billboard Music Awards are also notable for the fact that there are roughly a zillion categories, including both Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist, plus Top Radio Songs Artists, Top Streaming Songs Artists, Top Selling Song, and Top Song Sales Artist. Beyond that, there are categories for Latin, dance, rock, country, Christian, gospel, and soundtrack music.

But before the stars congregate on the red carpet (if last year's fashion is any indication, expect naked dresses, cutouts, and jumpsuits galore) here's everything else to know.

Fifth Harmony Performs at the 2016 BBMA

The Nominees

The Weeknd wins the title of most nominations this year, with a total of 19 in 16 categories. Next up, Justin Bieber has 12 nominations in 11 categories, while both Drake and Fetty Wap have 11. Taylor Swift and Adele, meanwhile, both have eight nominations. All of the above, with the exception of Fetty Wap, will vie for the title of Top Artist of the year. (Fetty Wap is nominated for Top New Artist.)

Taylor Swift and Adele will go head-to-head with Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Rihanna for Top Female Artist, while Drake, Fetty Wap, Future, Wiz Khalifa, and Silento will compete for Top Rap Artist. For Top Hot 100 Song, it's Adele's "Hello" against Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen," Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again," and two songs by the Weeknd, "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills."

See the full list of nominees here.

The Presenters

Though Ludacris and Ciara will be hosting the awards ceremony, they'll be joined by a slew of presenters. Wiz Khalifa, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Kristen Bell, Jessica Alba, Keke Palmer, Idina Menzel, Steven Tyler, Lindsey Vonn, and Pete Wentz, among others, will also take the stage.

The Performers

If you're not here for the (admittedly rather business-y) awards or for the fashion, come for the performances. Along with Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion (!), Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony, Joe Jonas' DNCE, Pink, Shawn Mendes, the Go Go's, and Meghan Trainor, there will also be a Madonna tribute to Prince, while Millennium Award recipient Britney Spears will open the show with a medley of her top hits.

If you're into this sort of thing, confirmed couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are performing together. Meanwhile, Adele will also debut her the video for "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)."

Also to watch: Kesha, whose performance has already been the source of controversy. TMZ initially reported that the singer was preparing for a "statement performance" with possible references to her legal battle with Dr. Luke, as well as images of him. On Tuesday, Billboard released a statement that Dr. Luke's label, Kemosabe, has "rescinded its approval" of her performance. But as of Thursday, Kemosabe "restored" approval of the performance after obtaining "assurances" that Kesha wouldn't use the performance to reference the litigation in any way. So there's that.

How to Watch


The awards show will begin at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.


Though the actual event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, ABC will be broadcasting it live.


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