(NEW YORK) — Music’s biggest names will gather this Sunday night in L.A. to celebrate the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards, airing live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
The evening will include a tribute by Stevie Wonder and Ryan Seacrest to the late Dick Clark, who created the AMAs four decades ago, as well as performances by more than a dozen stars. Among them: Kelly Clarkson, Pink, No Doubt, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Christina Aguilera, Usher, The Wanted, PSY, Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Carrie Underwood, Ke$ha, Linkin Park, Chris Brown and Ludacris. Presenters include Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, will.i.am, Ne-Yo, Paula Abdul, Neon Trees, Phillip Phillips, Karmin, Backstreet Boys and Brandy.
Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are the leading nominees for the AMAs: each have four nominations individually. Following with three nods each are Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Drake, One Direction and Usher. The nominees for the most prestigious category — Artist of the Year — are Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Maroon 5 and Drake.
Maroon 5 won their first AMA last year, and guitarist James Valentine tells ABC News that AMAs mean more than some other honors, because it’s the fans who determine the winners.
“I mean, any sort of recognition is great for us but, yeah, because the fans are voting, it does feel a little bit more special. You appreciate the love from the fans,” Valentine said. He says it’s surreal to be part of something that he grew up watching on TV as a kid.
“It’s funny — that’s the whole world that I was watching, you know, from Lincoln, Nebraska, and never really actually thinking that I’d be a part of [it],” he says. “So, it’s cool to see that stuff up close.”
Unfortunately, Maroon 5 won’t be in the house, since they’re performing on Saturday Night Live the night before, but they’ll be watching from New York City.
“I always watch it,” he said. “We will be tuned in, watching attentively!”
Andy Grammer will be on hand Sunday night: he’s serving as the official red carpet correspondent for the live online pre-show. In addition to interviewing the acts on the carpet, he will perform live, and you can watch the whole thing starting at 5 p.m. ET on YouTube, ABC.com, Cokemusic.com, Livestream, Ustream and AMAs365.
“I’m very excited to be around an event that is so critical to the music community where all the big heavyweights come out — just to be around that energy is real exciting,” Grammer told ABC News.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News