Pop-Filled Night Planned for American Music Awards

Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are the top nominees

By SANDY COHEN
|  Monday, Dec 3, 2012  |  Updated 4:02 PM EDT
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In the pop/rock category, Nicki Minaj is up for favorite female artist and album for "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." She's also nominated for favorite artist and album in the hip-hop/rap category, two awards she won last year.

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Cyndi Lauper said her musical playlist includes Pink, Nicki Minaj and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Boy band The Wanted is excited to see "Gangnam Style" PSY and Colbie Caillat wants to see No Doubt.

The stars walking the red carpet before Sunday's American Music Awards were ready to take their seats as fans. Early arrivals included Luke Bryan, the Backstreet Boys and Linkin Park.

"What makes the American Music Awards special is the fans choose the winning artists," said Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who is nominated for favorite artist alternative rock and will perform at the show.

Along with Rihanna, Minaj is the top nominee at Sunday's American Music Awards, but the rapper-singer isn't concerned with her four nominations.

"I don't do music for awards," the 29-year-old said in an interview. "It's so crazy because people always have to remind me that I'm nominated for an award when I go to award shows."

"I know they're going to come. I'm sitting here looking at my awards right now," she continued with a laugh. "I never stress it. I think of myself as 'I'll have a career long enough to get all those different awards.'"

In the pop/rock category, Minaj is up for favorite female artist and album for "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." She's also nominated for favorite artist and album in the hip-hop/rap category, two awards she won last year.

Minaj isn't up for the night's top award, though. Rihanna, Maroon 5, Drake, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber will battle it out for artist of the year.

But the American Music Awards are all about performances, and Sunday's show will be no exception. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood will perform. Justin Bieber will share the stage with Minaj. Ludacris and Chris Brown will perform with Swizz Beatz. And Stevie Wonder is set to provide the soundtrack for a tribute to the late Dick Clark.

"I'm really going there to perform 'Freedom,'" Minaj said of her new single. "I'm very, very proud of the record and I'm happy that people are going to get to hear it. I'm performing a hip-hop song on the AMAs, and I think . that's just a big look for hip-hop."

Rae Jepsen, Kelly Clarkson and Usher are also among those set to sing during the three-hour program, which is to be broadcast live on ABC.

Other multiple nominees include Usher, Bieber, Drake, Maroon 5 and One Direction, who have three nods each. Perry, Underwood, Brown, Clarkson, Pitbull, fun., Gotye, J. Cole and Luke Bryan are all double nominees.

American Music Awards nominees were selected based on sales and airplay, and fans chose the winners by voting online.

The 40th anniversary show will also include the tribute to Clark, its creator.

"Dick changed the face of music back in the late '50s," producer Larry Klein said. "Dick is the one who made rock 'n' roll acceptable to come into people's homes... We're paying tribute to Dick because of the legacy that he's left everybody and also the creativity of what he did on this show."

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