The Weeknd
The Weeknd is leading the Billboard Music Awards 2016 nominations with 19Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The Billboard Music Awards 2016 nominations have been unveiled and The Weeknd has emerged as the frontrunner with a staggering 19 nods. The r'n'b prince appears in 19 categories while Justin Bieber, Drake and Adele are also among the artists hoping to triumph at the ceremony, set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on 22 May 2016.

Following a tremendous year, The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, has been nominated in the top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album for his chart-topping third LP Beauty Behind The Madness. Incredibly, the crooner has been nominated twice in the top hot 100 song for Can't Feel My Face and The Hills while both songs are also up for top r'n'b song along with Earned It (from the Fifty Shades Of Grey soundtrack).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is tied with Adele at the Billboard Music Awards 2016 with eight nods eachADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Trailing slightly behind, with 12 nominations, is Justin Bieber who made a storming comeback in 2015 and will compete against The Weeknd in the top artist and top male artist categories. Bieber, 22, is also up for top Billboard 200 album with his best-seller Purpose while he has also received nods for top Billboard 200 artist and top dance/EDM song for Where Are U Now featuring Skrillex and Diplo.

Elsewhere, Adele and Taylor Swift are tied with eight nominations apiece. The two singers are rivals for top artist, top female artist and top Billboard 200 artist for their respective 25 and 1989 albums. Adele is recognised for her ballad Hello in the top hot 100 song category, while Swift is also up for top social media artist and top touring artist following her mammoth trek, which spanned 85 dates and is said to have grossed around $250m (£175m).

The BBMAs will be hosted by Ludacris and Ciara and will be broadcast live on US network ABC.

Watch Ludacris and Ciara announce the BBMAs nominations on Good Morning America: