It’s not easy to become a finalist for the Billboard Music Awards. There are only three to five finalists in each category, and there are dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of artists, singles and albums vying for those slots. So when an artist has two of the top five contenders in a category, they’re already a winner.
Twelve artists found themselves in that fortunate position when the finalists for the 2023 BBMAs were announced Thursday (Oct. 26). At most awards shows, when an artist has two entries nominated in one category, there’s a danger of “splitting their votes” in the final round of voting. But the BBMAs aren’t based on multiple rounds of voting; they are strictly data-driven.
Unique among music awards shows, winners are determined by performance metrics on the year-end Billboard charts. The eligibility dates for this year’s awards are aligned with Billboard’s year-end charts tracking period, which measures music consumption from the charts dated Nov. 19, 2022, through Oct. 21, 2023. (That corresponds to the tracking period of Nov. 4, 2022, through Oct. 12, 2023.)
If you missed Thursday’s announcement, Taylor Swift is the top finalist for the 2023 BBMAs, with 20 entries. Morgan Wallen and SZA are runners-up, with 17 entries each; followed by The Weeknd (16); Drake and Zach Bryan (14); Luke Combs (10); 21 Savage, Metro Boomin and Miley Cyrus (nine each); and Beyoncé and Rema (seven each).
Performances and awards will roll out across the BBMAs and Billboard social channels, as well as via BBMAs.watch on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Here are all the artists who have multiple entries in one category at the 2023 BBMAs.
Category: Top Country Album
Notes: Both Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old are finalists. The albums were released nine months apart – in June 2022 and March 2023, respectively. The other finalists are Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak.
Categories: Top Radio Song, Top Collaboration, Top R&B Song
Notes: The Toronto-born superstar is competing against himself in all three of these categories. He’s a finalist for both “Creepin,’” a collab with Metro Boomin and 21 Savage, and “Die for You,” a Hot 100-topping collab with Ariana Grande.
Category: Top R&B Song
Notes: The newly-minted superstar is a finalist with both “Kill Bill” and “Snooze.” Both songs appeared on her Billboard 200-topping album SOS. As outlined above, The Weeknd also has two entries in this category. The fifth entry is Miguel’s “Sure Thing.”
Category: Top Country Song
Notes: The country titan is a finalist with both “Last Night” and “You Proof.” Both songs appeared on his Billboard 200-topping album One Thing at a Time. The other finalists are Bailey Zimmerman’s “Rock and a Hard Place,” Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” and Zach Bryan’s “Something in the Orange.”
Category: Top Rock Song
Notes: Bryan has two of the finalists – “I Remember Everything” (featuring Kacey Musgraves) and “Something in the Orange.” The other finalists are Jelly Roll’s “Need a Favor,” Stephen Sanchez’s “Until I Found You” and Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit.”
Category: Top Latin Song
Notes: The Mexican musician, who is just 24, is a finalist with “Ella Baila Sola,” a collab with Eslabon Armado, and “La Bebé,” a collab with Yng Lvcas.
Category: Top Latin Song
Notes: The regional Mexican band from Texas is competing with “un x100to,” a collab with Bad Bunny, and “Bebé Dame,” a collab with Fuerza Regida. Peso Pluma also has two entries in the category, as outlined above. The fifth finalist is “TQG” by Karol G and Shakira.
Category: Top Dance/Electronic Song
Notes: The Frenchman, who at 55 is older than most of his chart-topping peers, is competing with both “I’m Good (Blue),” his smash collab with Bebe Rexha, and “Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” his collab with Anne-Marie and Coi Leray. The other finalists in the category are Bizarrap & Shakira’s “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” Elton John & Britney Spears “Hold Me Closer” and Tiësto ft. Tate McRae “10:35.”
Category: Top Afrobeats Song
Notes: The Nigerian rapper and singer, just 23, is a finalist with “Calm Down,” his smash collab with Selena Gomez, and “Soweto,” a collab with Victony and Tempoe featuring Don Toliver. The other finalists in the category are Ayra Starr’s “Rush,” Libianca’s “People” and Oxlade’s KU LO SA.”
Category: Global K-pop Song
Notes: The South Korean girl group has two finalists in this new category – “Ditto” and “OMG.” The other finalists are Fifty Fifty’s “Cupid,” Jimin’s “Like Crazy” and Jungkook’s “Seven” (featuring Latto).
Maverick City Music
Category: Top Gospel Song
Notes: The contemporary worship music collective teams with Kirk Franklin on “Fear Is Not My Future” (which features Brandon Lake and Chandler Moore) and is featured on Crowder & Dante Bowe’s “God Really Loves Us.”
Category: Top Gospel Song
Notes: The South Carolina native is featured on Elevation Worship’s “More Than Able” (which also features Tiffany Hudson) and Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin’s “Fear Is Not My Future,” which also features Brandon Lake. As outlined above, Maverick City Music also has two contenders in this category. The other finalists are CeCe Winans’ “Goodness of God” and Zacardi Cortez’s “Lord Do It for Me (Live in Memphis).”