Billboard Music Awards 2012: A Viewer’s Guide

Robbie Daw | May 18, 2012 2:11 pm

A day before the Grammys in February, Whitney Houston died suddenly and producers hastily pulled together a tribute segment for the late singer. And with the Billboard Music Awards just around the corner — the event is being broadcast live this Sunday, May 20, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. EST — we can’t help but wonder if there will be some sort of similar acknowledgment in store for Donna Summer, who lost her battle to lung cancer yesterday at the age of 63.

Houston is already set to be honored at the BBMAs. She’s the recipient of this year’s Billboard Millennium Award, and both Whitney’s Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks and John Legend are on tap to pay tribute to the singer.

Head below for a roundup of what else to expect at this year’s telecast.


Emmy-winning Modern Family pair Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell will be guiding viewers through the night. Why them? Because they’re funny. And they’re not Anne Hathaway and James Franco.


Okay, not really. But pretty much. Yes, we’re having de ja vu, as well. With a deep breath intake, here are all the statues the professional awards collector stands to add to her trophy case:

Top Artist
Hot 100 Song (for “Rolling In The Deep”)
Billboard 200 Album (for 21)
Hot 100 Artist
Billboard Top 200 Artist
Top Female Artist
Top Radio Songs Artist
Top Radio Song (for “Rolling In The Deep”)
Top Streaming Song (for “Rolling In The Deep”)
Top Digital Songs Artist
Top Digital Song (for “Rolling In The Deep”)
Top Digital Media Artist
Top Pop Artist


Last year Justin Bieber nabbed Best New Artist at the BBMAs, but lost Best Male Artist to Eminem. He’s back in the latter category, and, who knows — the Bieb is on a hot streak with his hit “Boyfriend”. And his voice finally changed (a little). That counts for something, right, voters? (Other awards JB stands to win: Billboard 200 Artist, Top Digital Media Artist and Top Social Artist.)

Also up for a slew of awards (including Hot 100 Song, Top Radio Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Streaming Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Dance Artist and Top Dance Album): goofball duo LMFAO. They even have the distinction of standing to win eight awards through just four categories, as both “Sexy And I Know It” and “Party Rock Anthem” are nominated for Top Digital Song, Top Pop Song, Top Dance Song and Top Rap Song. The mind, it boggles.


Multiple nominees Justin Bieber, LMFAO, Chris Brown and Katy Perry (who’s said to be doing new single “Wide Awake”) are all set to take to the stage and sing on Sunday, as are Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Cee Lo Green, Nelly Furtado, Carrie Underwood, Usher, The Wanted, Carly Rae Jepsen (you know you’re dying to hear “Call Me Maybe” live) and, as mentioned, John Legend and Jordin Sparks, who will be paying tribute to Whitney Houston.


We just have two requests: 1.) Take That, who haven’t had an album see a US release in 17 years, should totally win the Top Touring Artist award they’re up for. Yours truly saw them perform in Milan last summer, and they were pretty spectacular. And, 2.) please, Billboard — show Donna some love this weekend. With four #1s on the Hot 100, two handfuls more of Top 10 hits, five Grammys, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe to her credit, she deserves it. She worked hard for the… well, you know.

Log on to Idolator on Sunday evening, where we’ll be covering the Billboard Music Awards live. Also, who are you most looking forward to seeing perform? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook!