The Billboard Music Awards Do Voting So Differently

by Danielle Jackson
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Billboard Music Awards air on ABC this Sunday, and Drake and The Chainsmokers lead the pack this year with a whopping 22 nominations each. Twenty One Pilots follows closely behind with 17, and Rihanna joins in with 14. With as many nominations as all of these acts have, you may be thinking that they're all pretty much set to dominate the categories they're in. But that all depends on the voters, and the people who who decide the Billboard Music Awards winners might have different tastes.

It's viewers like you and me who determine the winners for this show, which will feature Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens as hosts, by gravitating towards certain hit songs and artists. According to the Billboard Music Awards' official website, each year's set of nominees is determined by "key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social engagement" within a 12-month period. Basically what that means is that the nominations come down to the popularity of certain artists and their music, which is likely why whoever ends up winning each award is left in the hands of you: the viewer, listener, and fan.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The winners and nominees being chosen based on the charts is a great way to keep people satisfied, and it really seems like what makes the most sense. Just getting nominated for a Billboard Music Award means that an artist, song, or album is clearly sitting well with the general public, as it's most likely dominated the Billboard Hot 100 at some point. It also happens to be a good alternate approach to those used by award shows like the Grammys, where winners are voted on by an elite group of members of the industry, and almost every year you can count on a deserving artist being snubbed. People were rightfully outraged when Beyonce lost Album of the Year to Adele at this year's Grammys, and when Rihanna walked away with nothing. Just determining winners based on how well their music performs on the charts eliminates the likelihood of there being so much controversy.

There's no actual voting involved, but viewers do get to choose the winner of the Top Social Award and the Billboard Chart Achievement Award. The voting period lasts about 21 days, and this year, voting ends on the night of the show at 6 p.m. PT. So Billboard Music Award voter, that means that, if you haven't already, you'd better get a move on. You have some winners to pick.