Erik Kabik / ErikKabik.com
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 | 5:04 p.m.
For the first time in TV awards history in Las Vegas, we West Coast viewers will get to see a primetime special air at the same time as fans on the East Coast.
The three-hour 2016 Billboard Awards on May 22 with Ludacris and Ciara hosting from T-Mobile Arena will air simultaneously across all time zones in the USA, no three-hour delay between Eastern and Pacific times.
The other big news from Billboard today is that superstar Justin Bieber, who recently brought his “Purpose Tour” to MGM Grand Garden Arena, will perform a medley of his new single “Company” and his chart-topping hit “Sorry” on the telecast.
Previously announced performers include hometown star Pink, who will debut her single “Just Like Fire” from Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” DNCE, with Joe Jonas and who opens for Selena Gomez at Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 6, The Go-Go’s and Shawn Mendes also are set to perform.
While discussions about a Britney Spears appearance continue, I can confirm plans for a special tribute to Prince, who was honored with the Icon Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards and performed “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Fix Ur Life U.”
Last year’s big winner was Taylor Swift, who won six awards: Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Streaming Video Song and the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.
This year, it could be The Weeknd, who could clean up as he is a 19-time finalist in 16 categories. Justin follows in 11 categories with 12 finalist nominations. Taylor this year is tied with Adele as finalists for eight awards.
The Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music.
These measurements are tracked year round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on the reporting period of tracking dates March 23, 2015, through March 17, 2016, and Billboard chart dates April 11, 2015, through April 2, 2016.
Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of songs and albums.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.