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The nominations for the 2012 American Music Awards have been announced, and they're dominated by two of pop music's most powerful ladies. Rihanna and Nicki Minaj each scored four nominations this year, though they'll be going head-to-head in only one category: favorite pop/rock female artist. Judging from those dirty looks (and rumored insults) they were exchanging at the MTV Video Music Awards, this will be one fierce competition.
Coming in behind Nicki and Rihanna, with three nominations each, are Justin Bieber, One Direction, Usher, Drake and Maroon 5. First-time nominees One Direction will also be competing for one of the night's biggest awards, new artist of the year, alongside hitmakers Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe"), Gotye ("Somebody That I Used to Know"), fun.("We Are Young") and J. Cole ("Can't Get Enough").
While the pop categories are full of new faces, the country nominations are loaded with established favorites. Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert are up for favorite country female artist, and the favorite country male artist nominations went to Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Actually, there is one new person in the country nominations: R&B singer Lionel Richie, whose bestselling duets album Tuskegee got a nod for favorite country album.
One change to the AMAs this year is the addition of an electronic dance music category. Skrillex, David Guetta and Calvin Harris will compete to be the first-ever winner.
Nominees for the biggest award of the night, artist of the year, include Bieber, Perry, Rihanna, Maroon 5 and Drake.
Nominees for the most random award of the night, favorite alternative artist, include Gotye, The Black Keys and Linkin Park. (Seriously, can you think of three more different artists? It's like comparing apples and oranges and Fruit Roll-Ups.)
The full list of nominees is here. You may notice that Adele, who swept this year's Grammy Awards with six trophies, is only nominated in one category (favorite adult contemporary artist). That's because her album 21 was eligible for last year's AMAs, when she took home three awards (but lost artist of the year to Taylor Swift). Still, Adele made this year's nominees list despite having no new album, because radio stations just can't stop playing her songs.
Winners of the American Music Awards are determined by online voting. Go here to vote for your favorites, then tune into the ceremony on Nov. 18 to see if you picked a winner!