Eminem, Lady Antebellum Lead American Music Awards Nominations; Bieber, Swift Among Performers

Justin Bieber was just a kid when Eminem put out his first album. Today, he’s still just a kid, but they’re on equal footing at Sunday night’s American Music Awards in Los Angeles as both vie for the title of entertainer of the year.

The 16-year-old heartthrob and the best-selling rapper also face some other competition for the trophy: Newlywed Katy Perry, dance queen Lady Gaga and Ke$ha are also up for the top award.

Eminem is vying for a total of five American Music Awards, along with country trio Lady Antebellum. Both acts had two of the year’s top hits — Eminem with “Love The Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna, and Lady Antebellum, with “Need You Now.”

For Lady Antebellum, 2010 has been a breakthrough year. Their album, also titled “Need You Now,” not only solidified their status as top country stars, but provided them with a pop following, thanks to the album’s title track, which was a No. 2 pop hit.

For Eminem, 2010 has been the year of the comeback. Though the best-selling and critically acclaimed rapper has always produced platinum-plus sales, a drug addiction, time away from the scene and a sub par album in 2009’s “Relapse” had pushed Eminem from his rap throne. With “Recovery,” so far the year’s top-selling album with nearly three million sold, his supremacy has been restored.

The American Music Awards, which will air live at 8 p.m. EST on ABC from L.A.‘s Nokia Theater, celebrate the most popular music acts in the nation, as determined by fan votes. Other nominees include rapper B.o.B, the Black Eyed Peas, Drake, the music from the hit TV show “Glee,” Sade, and last year’s entertainer of the year, Taylor Swift.

Swift will be among the evening’s performers, along with Usher, the Peas, Rihanna, Bieber, Ke$ha, Perry and Bon Jovi.

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