The American Music Awards are the only major pop music awards voted on by music fans. The awards will be telecast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Television.
My predictions are simply that...predictions. It will be up to the music fans to choose the actual winners. My predicted winner in each category is in bold type. I have included comments on each nominee. I am making predictions in the Pop/Rock and General categories.
Artist of the Year
- Adele - Adele has dominated the pop music landscape in 2011 like no other artist in recent history. Her album 21 is closing in on five million copies sold while her #1 hit singles "Rolling In the Deep" and "Someone Like You" are multi-platinum successes. She is easily the most deserving of Artist of the Year and seems the favorite to win the award.
- Lady Gaga - Lady Gaga has had a very strong year releasing the landmark album Born This Way and generating four top 10 pop hits from it. However, she still can not make the argument that she has been a more deserving artist than Adele this year.
- Lil Wayne - With strong sales performance from the album Tha Carter IV, and a top 10 smash from his daring singing performance on "How To Love," Lil Wayne has had a very good year.
- Katy Perry - The hit singles seemed to just keep coming for Katy Perry. She matched Michael Jackson's landmark of five #1 hit singles from one album, and looks set to have a sixth single hit the top 10.
- Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift's concert tour was a massive success and kept her strongly in the spotlight all year long. However, she did not have the dominant presence across music formats managed by Adele.
- Justin Bieber - It has been another solid year for 17 year old Justin Bieber. A capping achievement was the #1 chart debut for his Christmas collection Under the Mistletoe. With one of the strongest social networking fan bases of any artist, look for Justin Bieber to take this award home handily.
- Bruno Mars - Bruno Mars has emerged as one of the world's top male pop artists. He has continued to hit the upper reaches of the pop singles chart both as lead artist and featured artist on memorable singles. However, his fan base can not yet match that of Justin Bieber.
- Pitbull - Pitbull seems to be everywhere and he finally had his first #1 pop hit single as lead artist this year with "Give Me Everything," but this isn't his year to win this prize.
- Adele - It is a historic year for Adele, and she deserves this accolade. No other female artist has been in her league this year.
- Lady Gaga - Born This Way is a landmark, and in most any other year Lady Gaga would likely be a shoo-in for this award. Unfortunately, due to Adele, this isn't just any other year.
- Katy Perry - Katy Perry proved she has true superstar caliber this past year, but she doesn't match the success of Adele.
Band, Duo, Or Group
- LMFAO - It is hard to know whether fans will really grant this award to the goofy dance-pop duo. However, they are deserving with "Party Rock Anthem" being the most effortlessly fun hit of the year. They didn't stop there and have followed it up with a second huge hit in "Sexy and I Know It."
- Maroon 5 - Maroon 5 made a tremendous comeback this year. Their album Hands All Over was dead in the water commercially. Then along came lead vocalist Adam Levine as a judge on The Voice and the single "Moves Like Jagger" became one of the biggest hits of their career thus far. However, one song should not decide the award.
- OneRepublic - This year OneRepublic rode along on the continued popularity of their album Waking Up which is currently two years old. This award should not be for OneRepublic this year.
- Adele - 21 - It was universally acclaimed by critics and has sold nearly five million copies in the US alone not having left the top 5 on the album chart since its debut last February. Any more questions about which album is deserving of this award?
- Lady Gaga - Born This Way - It is a landmark but had the fate to be released in the same year as 21
- Rihanna - Loud - Rihanna remains primarily a pop singles artist. Conceptually this album is not in the same league as the other two nominated collections.
- Marsha Ambrosius - Late Nights and Early Mornings is a stellar debut by this former member of Floetry. However, Marsha Ambrosius does not have the high fan profile of a few other nominees here.
- The Band Perry - The Band Perry are strong contenders in this category. The family trio are undoubtedly the top new country act of the year, and they have made a strong crossover into pop territory.
- Foster the People - Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" lays claim to being one of the top pop and alternative singles of the year. However, the band has already shown difficulty in coming up with a worthy follow up.
- Hot Chelle Rae - Hot Chelle Rae are a solid rising pop band. "Tonight Tonight" is a huge hit, but the group is not in the league of the top nominees here.
- LMFAO - The party pair must be considered a true contender for this award, but I predict a loss in a photo finish.
- Miguel - Miguel had a stellar breakthrough year in the R&B market. However, his failure to crossover to pop audiences in significant fashion will likely hold him back from winning this award.
- Thompson Square - This country duo have had an outstanding year, but they fall slightly behind the Band Perry in their impact with music fans overall.
- Wiz Khalifa - Wiz Khalifa combines the multi-format success across rap and pop circles with strong critical acclaim. His live performances are riveting as well. I predict a Wiz Khalifa win edging out other competitors.