Los Angeles - RnB star Rihanna and rapper Nicki Minaj led nominations for the American Music Awards with four apiece on Tuesday, edging out stiff competition from pop sensations Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Rihanna, 24, was nominated in the top category - artist of the year - where she will compete with Bieber, Katy Perry, pop-rockers Maroon 5 and Canadian rapper Drake.
She also won nods for female soul/RnB artist and album for Talk That Talk, and will battle Minaj, 29, in the female pop/rock artist category.
Minaj scored two nods for her album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in both the pop/rock and rap/hip hop categories this year, as well as a nomination for favourite rap artist, alongside Drake and American newcomer Tyga.
Minaj has been making headlines after joining the American Idol judging panel, where she was caught feuding on camera with fellow judge Mariah Carey in early audition rounds.
One nomination each
Boyfriend singer Bieber, 18, landed three nominations this year, tying with British boy band One Direction, Maroon 5, Drake and RnB star Usher.
Following in the footsteps of the Grammy Awards earlier this year, which hosted a tribute to electronic dance music, the American Music Awards introduced a new category in that genre, with David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Skrillex competing for the trophy.
Last year's big winners, Adele and Taylor Swift, who both scored three awards each, received one nomination each this year. Swift scored a nod for female country artist alongside Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, while Adele was nominated in the favourite adult contemporary artist category alongside Kelly Clarkson and Train.
First performer announced
The closely-watched new artist category will be a battle between RnB singer J Cole, indie-pop band fun., Australian singer-songwriter Gotye, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepson and One Direction.
The AMA winners are determined by fans through online voting, which starts on Tuesday.
The American Music Awards will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and the ceremony and performance show will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on 18 November.
Pop star and The Voice judge Christina Aguilera, who announced the nominees on Tuesday, was the first performer to be announced for the live show.
2012 American Music Awards nominations list:
Artist of the Year:
New Artist of the Year:
Carly Rae Jepsen
Favourite Male Artist – Pop/Rock:
Favourite Female Artist - Pop/Rock:
Favourite Band, Duo or Group - Pop/Rock:
Favourite Album - Pop/Rock:
Justin Bieber - Believe
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'
One Direction - Up All Night
Favourite Male Artist - Country:
Favourite Female Artist - Country:
Favourite Band, Duo or Group - Country:
Zac Brown Band
Favourtie Album - Country:
Luke Bryan - Tailgates & Tanlines
Lionel Richie - Tuskegee
Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
Favourite Artist – Rap/Hip Hop:
Favourite Album – Rap/Hip Hop:
J Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story
Drake - Take Care
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Favourite Male Artist - Soul/RnB:
Favourite Female Artist - Soul/RnB:
Mary J Blige
Favourite Album - Soul/RnB:
Chris Brown, 'Fortune'
Rihanna, 'Talk That Talk'
Usher, 'Looking 4 Myself'
Favourite Artist – Alternative Rock:
The Black Keys
Favourite Artist – Adult Contemporary:
Favourite Artist - Latin:
Favourite Artist - Contemporary Inspirational:
Favourite Artist – Electronic Dance Music (EDM):