The show celebrates its 40th anniversary with a star-studded blowout from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles (ABC, 8 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed Sunday) delivered by a huge cross section of contemporary hit-makers.
Taylor Swift, Usher, Pink and Pitbull will take the stage. Christina Aguilera, Linkin Park, Nicki Minaj, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood and Ke$ha also will perform.
Fans voting online will determine winners in pop/rock, country, rap/hip-hop, soul/R&B, alternative, adult contemporary, Latin and contemporary inspirational.
Minaj and Rihanna lead the pack with four nominations each, followed by Drake, Justin Bieber, Maroon5, One Direction and Usher with three each. Underwood, Chris Brown, fun, Gotye, J. Cole, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan and Pitbull each garnered two nods.
David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Skrillex compete in the newly added electronic dance music category.
And Bieber, Drake, Maroon 5, Perry and Rihanna are up for the 2012 Artist of the Year prize.
For the fourth consecutive year, the pre-show and red carpet arrivals, hosted by Lance Bass, Kimberly Cole, Sean Kingston and others, will stream live.
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