Billboard Music Awards Announce Finalists

Today Billboard announced the finalists for the “2023 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs) honoring the year’s hottest names in music determined by year-end performance metrics on the Billboard charts. The 2023 BBMA top finalists include Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen, SZA, The Weeknd, Drake, and Zach Bryan.

The BBMAs will deliver a fresh award show concept that will entertain fans with music and exclusive content, including winner celebrations, behind-the-scenes moments, and performances created by the world’s biggest chart-topping artists. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the BBMAs and Spotify ‘Fans First’ will bring fans up close and personal with their favorite artists at performances and award celebrations taking place around the globe, in the midst of sold-out tours, and in custom venues – with bespoke never before seen BBMAs creative. Performances and awards will roll out across BBMAs and Billboard social channels, as well as via BBMAs.watch on Sunday, November 19. “Billboard Music Awards” performers will be revealed daily on BBMA social channels, starting on Monday, November 6.

2023 BBMAs Finalist Highlights:
Taylor Swift, the most decorated female BBMAs artist of all time with 29 wins, leads as a finalist in 20 categories, the most of any artist this year. Her chart-topping hit “Anti-Hero” is up for five awards, including Top Hot 100 Song. With 29 previous wins, Swift could surpass Drake for most wins of all-time if she wins at least five this year. Her Midnights smash “Anti-Hero” spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — her longest-ruling chart-topper, surpassing the seven-week No. 1 run of “Blank Space.” She also topped the Billboard 200 with her 11th and 12th No. 1 albums: Midnights and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), with the latter surpassing Barbra Streisand for the most No. 1 albums among women in the history of the chart. In July, Swift placed four concurrent albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 — the first time in nearly 60 years that a living artist had as many as four titles in the top 10 at the same time. Additionally, in July, she charted 11 albums on the Billboard 200 at the same time — becoming the first woman, and first living soloist, to have 11 albums on the chart concurrently. Further, during the tracking year, Swift also became the only living act with six titles in the top 20 at the same time, the only act to have placed nine simultaneous albums in the top 40, and the only living act with 10 of the top 100.

Morgan Wallen is the leading male finalist this year up for 16 awards with 17 entries, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, and Top Hot 100 Artist. His album One Thing At A Time is up for two awards, while his song “Last Night” is up for three awards, including Top Hot 100 Song. One Thing’s smash single “Last Night” spent 16 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 — the sole longest No. 1 run for a non-collaboration, and tying for the second-longest reign in the chart’s 65-year history. His latest album One Thing At A Time spent 16 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — the most weeks atop the chart for any album since Adele’s “21” ruled for 24 non consecutive weeks in 2011-12.

SZA is up for 16 awards with 17 entries, including Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, and Top 100 Artist. Her album SOS is a finalist for both the Top Billboard 200 Album and Top R&B Album awards, and her song “Kill Bill” is up for four awards, including Top Hot 100 Song. Her most recent album SOS broke the long-standing record for the most weeks at No. 1 for an album by a woman on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, surpassing the 17 weeks at No. 1 by Aretha Franklin’s Aretha Now in 1968. SOS also spawned five top 10 hits on the Hot 100 — the first R&B album with five top 10s on the chart in the last 25 years.

Up for 13 awards with 16 entries, The Weeknd lands among the top finalists this year. His collaboration with Ariana Grande for the song “Die For You” is up for five awards, including Top Radio Song. The Weeknd’s collaboration with Metro Boomin and 21 Savage for the song “Creepin” also received recognition as finalist in four categories, including Top Hot 100 Song. The Weeknd’s “Die for You” found a new life in 2023, six years after its release, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Boosted by a remix with Ariana Grande, the song hit No. 1 following a revival on TikTok, which in turn sparked new promotion to radio and streaming services for the track, which was originally included on the 2016 album Starboy. The song set the record for reaching No. 1 on the Hot 100 the longest after its release, among non-holiday entries, in the chart’s history.

The most decorated BBMA artist of all time, Drake, who holds the record with 34 wins, is up for 14 awards, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, and Top Hot 100 Artist. He’s up for the Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Rap Album for Her Loss with 21 Savage. Drake is also up for Top R&B Album and Top Dance/Electronic Album for Honestly, Nevermind. Drake scored his 12th and 13th No. 1 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 with Her Loss with 21 Savage and For All the Dogs. The For All the Dogs hit “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole, became Drake’s 13th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — tying him with Michael Jackson for the most No. 1s among solo male artists. Additionally, Drake is the only solo artist with at least 13 career No. 1s on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100.

First-time finalist Zach Bryan bows with recognition as a finalist up for 13 awards with 14 entries, including Top New Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Songwriter, and Top Streaming Songs Artist. His song “Something in the Orange” is a finalist for three awards, including Top Streaming Song, Top Country Song, and twice in the Top Rock Song category. Bryan scored his first No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 with “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves (also her first No. 1). The song concurrently hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs surveys — the first hit to top all three charts.

Additional first-time BBMA finalists include: Bailey Zimmerman, Coi Leray, Fifty Fifty, Fuerza Regida, Grupo Frontera, Jelly Roll, Ice Spice, Metro Boomin, NewJeans, Peso Pluma, and Oliver Anthony Music.
Nine new awards were unveiled this year, including Top Hot 100 Songwriter, Top Hot 100 Producer, Top Rock Duo/Group, Top Global K-Pop Artist, Top K-Pop Tour, Top K-Pop Album, Top Global K-Pop Song, Top Afrobeats Artist, and Top Afrobeats Song. Jack Antonoff, Taylor Swift, and Zach Bryan are finalists for both Top Hot 100 Songwriter and Top Hot 100 Producer awards.

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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