The inaugural edition of The YouTube Music Awards is happening on November 3rd. Broadcast live online, the show will be a celebration of the artists and videos that were the most watched, shared, and loved on YouTube over the past year, and will feature performances from some of music's biggest artists including Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire. In a series of posts sponsored by YouTube, we'll be breaking down the nominees in the biggest categories over the next couple of weeks to help you decide who is most deserving of your votes before the show.
Last week, we covered the nominees for the YouTube Phenomenon award and the YouTube Breakthrough title, and we're focusing on a big one today: the YouTube Artist Of The Year. That's right, YouTube is rewarding the artist who defined the past year through their biggest videos which were shared all over the web and the world. Have a look at the nominees below and vote for your pick by sharing the nomination video that accompanies your video of choice on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. (Click here for more info on how to vote.)
Releasing her fourth studio album Prism just last week, the record instantly shot to the top of the charts, and it's no surprise! She's one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, and you're gonna hear her "Roar".
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: "Roar" has hands-down been one of the best pop singles of the past year. Also, it's a well known fact that including animals in your video, as Katy did for "Roar," is a great way for upping that view count. Meow!
Why They Deserve To Win: Since she literally JUST released her latest record that fans have been waiting for essentially all year, Katy might be a shoe-in when it comes to the AOTY title.
Epic Rap Battles Of History
YouTubers Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist came together to create one of the web's most-watched series ever, Epic Rap Battles Of History (aka ERB) back in 2011. The pair play the part of famous artists and celebrities (like Michael Jackson v. Elvis Presley) and go for a rap battle!
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: There's no denying their rap skills are impressive: with each video getting at least a million views each (and they have dozens!), ERB are true YouTube superstars.
Why They Deserve To Win: While most of the artists on the list are one-trick ponies, Peter and Lloyd can be, well, any character!
Ever since Justin Bieber released his #MusicMondays series where he would be putting a new song on YouTube every monday for a number of weeks, he's once again brought himself back into the music spotlight. Beliebers everywhere are rejoicing!
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: Let's face it: Bieber has some of the most powerful fans out there, so they'll stop at nothing to make sure the Biebs gets the no.1 spot, no matter what he does.
Why They Deserve To Win: Even though it seems like a lot of music to be putting out each week, the songs are actually well-done by Team Bieber. We can't wait to hear more!
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Just this time last year, rap team Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were barely a household name. "Thrift Shop" was just starting to get on everybody's radar, and now here we are... they're one of the biggest acts in music right now!
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: To go from an independent label to having millions of views on their YouTube videos for "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love" is a pretty impressive feat.
Why They Deserve To Win: We love the story of an underdog riding to the top, so we definitely think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a chance at snagging the Artist Of The Year award.
Nicki Minaj is officially at icon status: she had a gig with American Idol this year, and that's enough to cement the title. Her third album is scheduled to be released next year, and we can hardly wait to hear it.
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: She may not have put out new music this year, but she's always in the spotlight because of her feature verses on other artist's tracks.
Why They Deserve To Win: When it comes down to it, Nicki's chock full of talent, and we wish her the best of luck at the YouTube awards!
Ever since they gained worldwide popularity in 2011, One Direction has been one of the biggest musical acts to EVER hit the pop charts. 2013 was no different — in fact, they get bigger and bigger with every passing second.
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: Their fans, the ever-eager Directioners, will stop at nothing to propel the success of their cherished boy band members. Have you seen how intense they can get?
Why They Deserve To Win: Not only are they adored all over the globe, the band are also extremely devoted to their work. These guys never take breaks!
The "Gangnam Style" hitmaker might have one of the craziest success stories of the year: being the first artist whose video reached 1 billion videos on YouTube is definitely a reason to be nominated for AOTY!
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: The world caught PSY-fever over the past year with his signature song taking over the international airwaves. Who doesn't know the "Gangnam Style" dance?
Why They Deserve To Win: He's garnered nearly 2 billion YouTube hits on one video! That's enough of a reason for us.
Rihanna's Unapologetic is one of her best albums to date, if not the best, and the number of singles she released like "Stay" and "Pour It Up" showcased her softer side, but also her gangster side.
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: RiRi cemented her place in pop as one of the world's biggest stars, and not just for music: she's also highly sought after for her fashion, beauty, and that infamous Instagram account.
Why They Deserve To Win: She's proven she can do it all, admitting her past mistakes and moving forward. We love RiRi!
Another pop diva who released her best record to date is Taylor Swift, whose album Red burned up the charts literally all year. Who hasn't gotten down to a T.Swift song over the past 12 months?
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: Every video that Taylor released for her singles, like "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Everything Has Changed", have been instant hits. Her pop crossover wasn't such a bad idea!
Why They Deserve To Win: We don't know how Taylor does it, but her love-song formula has captivated listeners all over the globe, making her one of music's most powerful figures. Whatever she does next will be a game-changer!
This past year remarked the return of Slim Shady, aka Eminem, and he's gearing up to release his ol-skool hip-hop record The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Bow down to the "Rap God"!
Why They're The Artist Of The Year: Every time Eminem comes back to music, his fans welcome him with open arms. He's one of the world's most influential rappers, after all!
Why They Deserve To Win: Em's ability to stay relevant in the fast-turnover world of pop music is a testament to his ability as an artist.