2018 Billboard Music Awards Predictions

The Billboard Music Awards are here once again to celebrate the achievements of the artists behind today’s biggest musical hits. This year’s show will feature must-see performances from Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Dua Lipa and more. But what about the awards themselves? We’re breaking down all of the competitive categories and sizing up who all the potential winners are. Check out our Billboard Music Awards predictions below.

2018 Billboard Music Awards Predictions

Predicted winner: Ed Sheeran

Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar lead the show with 15 nominations each. Naturally, they’re pitted against each other for the Top Artist prize, making any of them a decent bet. Mars swept top categories at the Grammys in a surprise over Lamar, whereas Sheeran was snubbed from getting a nomination. This scenario doesn’t seem likely to repeat itself, and given that chart performance and streams play a major part in deciding these awards, we’ll hand this title over to the British singer-songwriter. Drake and Taylor Swift are also nominated.

Predicted winner: Taylor Swift

This hardly comes as a surprise. Swift slithered her way back on top of charts when she dropped her comeback album Reputation last November. It smashed records left and right, becoming the year’s best-selling album. The jam-packed category also recognizes Halsey, Demi Lovato and breakout artists Cardi B and Camila Cabello.

Predicted winner: Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars has proven his worth as a performer time and again. He swept all of the major awards at the Grammys this year and is on track to achieve similar success at the BBMAs. We’re giving Bruno the slight edge here, but the presence of Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Post Malone make this one of the night’s toughest categories.

Predicted winner: Cardi B

Perhaps no other artist had as big of a breakout year as Cardi B. The expecting rapper taught everyone what it meant to make money moves with her smash hit “Bodak Yellow,” and her debut album Invasion of Privacy signaled the official emergence of a powerhouse artist. By all accounts, this award is hers to lose. Khalid, Camila Cabello, 21 Savage and Kodak Black are also nominated.

Predicted winner: “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Is this even a question? Sultry Latin hit “Despacito” obliterated all other songs on the Hot 100 chart, scoring the No. 1 position for 16 consecutive weeks. That feat ties Fonsi & co. with Mariah Carey for a single with the most weeks spent at the top spot. Post Malone picks up a nomination for “Rockstar,” as do Ed Sheeran (“Shape of You”), Kendrick Lamar (“Humble”) and Bruno Mars (“That’s What I Like”).

Predicted winner: Reputation – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift Takes Over

Swift’s Reputation smashed records and despite being released with roughly six weeks left in 2017, it became the best-selling album of the entire year. This remarkable feat surely gives the “Delicate” singer an edge in this category over Kendrick Lamar (DAMN.), Ed Sheeran (Divide), Pink (Beautiful Trauma), and Chris Stapleton (From a Room: Volume 1).

Predicted winner: Imagine Dragons

This category is among the most diverse in its nominees, with Imagine Dragons, The Chainsmokers, Coldplay, Migos, and U2 all nominated. Coldplay and the Chainsmokers were denied the honor last year by Twenty One Pilots, but may have to keep waiting. Imagine Dragons present the most radio play of all the nominated artists and seem the most likely of candidates to take home the prize.

Predicted winner: Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is now the title-holder of most-streamed song on Spotify after smash hit “Shape of You” garnered over 1.75 billion streams. In doing so, he surpassed fellow nominee Drake (“One Dance”) to make “Shape of You” one of just 11 songs to exceed one billion streams. It holds the record for being the fastest song to reach the milestone, achieving one billion streams in only 153 days. If that weren’t enough to secure this award, Sheeran also earns nearly 40 million listeners on the service each month. Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar and Post Malone are also in the running.

Predicted winner: Bruno Mars

Millions were blown away on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour, which is ongoing through the fall by popular demand nearly two years since it launched. Mars’ showmanship and consistent presence on radio and music charts earned him one of the most popular tours of the past year. Rock veterans Coldplay, U2 and Guns N’ Roses are also nominated.

Predicted winner: The Weeknd or Bruno Mars

Beyonce took home this prize last year, and her absence from the nominations leaves room for either The Weeknd or Bruno Mars to snatch it up. The overall popularity of Bruno in the night’s other categories make him a likely contender, but The Weeknd has seen a welcome resurgence thanks to latest EP My Dear Melancholy. Chris Brown, Khalid and SZA round out the nominations.

Predicted winner: Kendrick Lamar

Is there any stopping Kendrick Lamar? The Grammy winner has got this award in the bag thanks to strong commercial and critical acclaim of his latest album DAMN. Not to mention he also picked up a Pulitzer Prize last month. Better luck next year to fellow nominees Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, Migos and Post Malone.

Predicted winner: Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett became the first country artist to top the Billboard 200 chart in 2017 when his latest album Life Changes was released in September. He scored radio-friendly hits like “Unforgettable,” “Marry Me,” and pop crossover duet “Craving You” with Maren Morris. These musical achievements coupled with an overwhelming popularity gives him the upper hand in this category. Sam Hunt, Luke Combs, Kane Brown and Chris Stapleton are also vying for the prize.

Predicted winner: Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons taking this category makes the most sense, thanks to the success of their hits “Thunder” and “Believer.” However, a heavy sentiment for other nominees may not make them a fan-favorite choice. Linkin Park and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers each scored nominations, and a win for either would be bittersweet after losing their respective lead singers within the year. Twenty One Pilots and Portugal. The Man are also recognized.

Predicted winner: The Chainsmokers

In a few short years, The Chainsmokers have risen to the top of the ranks of the ever-growing EDM genre. They scored considerable chart success with their Coldplay collab “Something Just Like This” off their debut album Memories…Do Not Open, and don’t seem to slow down any time soon. Calvin Harris, Kygo, Marshmello and ODESZA are also nominated.

Predicted winner: “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Expect “Despacito” to pick up a win in this category as well, as it overpowers all the other nominated songs. Camila Cabello and Young Thug’s “Havana” may be able to take some momentum away from “Despacito,” proving that Latin-fueled pop makes for a winning formula. Other nominated collabs are The Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” French Montana and Swae Lee’s “Unforgettable” and Post Malone and 21 Savage’s “Rockstar.”

Do you agree with our picks? Tell us your Billboard Music Awards predictions in the comments below!

The Billboard Music Awards air tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Kelly Clarkson will serve as host.

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