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Alicia Keys, Shaggy Top Billboard Music Awards Nominees

You know an awards show is unique when Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 5 and the Beatles are nominees in the same category.

But one way next week’s 2001 Billboard Music Awards is like the others is in its recognition of R&B newcomer Alicia Keys, who is the leading contender with nominations in eight categories.

Keys – whose “Fallin'” helped her debut album, Songs in A Minor, top the charts when it was released in June – was named Best New Artist at MTV’s Video Music Awards in September, is the leading nominee in the American Music Awards and is expected to hear her name multiple times when the Grammy nominations are announced in January.

At the Billboard Music Awards, which will air live December 4 on Fox from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Keys’ nominations include Female Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Single of the Year for “Fallin’,” according to Billboard.

Keys will perform at the ceremony, along with Shaggy, No Doubt, Incubus, ‘NSYNC and Tim McGraw.

Shaggy has the second most nominees with seven, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for Hotshot, which featured the smash hit “It Wasn’t Me.”

Destiny’s Child, Ja Rule, Musiq Soulchild and Lifehouse have five nominations each, while Staind, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly, Janet Jackson, R. Kelly and Tim McGraw have four.

Comedian Bernie Mac will host the show, which will feature appearances by Destiny’s Child, Sting, Janet Jackson, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Creed, Lifehouse, Blink-182, Pink, Joe, Aaron Carter, Godsmack, Mandy Moore, Ludacris, R. Kelly, Lil’ Romeo, Lee Ann Womack, Jamie O’Neal and Petey Pablo.

Billboard Music Award nominations are announced so late because they are based on the magazine’s year-end charts, which determine the year’s top artists, albums and songs based on record sales and radio airplay statistics.