Jackson scores 5 American Music Award nominations
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson picked up five American Music Awards on Tuesday, almost four months after his sudden death turned him into the biggest-selling artist of the year, organizers said on Tuesday.
The pop star, who died of a drug overdose in June at the age of 50, was eclipsed only by 19-year-old country star Taylor Swift, who scored six nominations.
Both will compete for artist of the year at the November 22 ceremony in Los Angeles, along with pop star Lady Gaga, rapper Eminem and rock band Kings of Leon.
Nominees are determined by radio airplay and retail sales, while members of the public determine the winners through online voting.
Jackson has sold 5.7 million albums in the United States so far this year, according to tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan. His 2003 hits package "Number Ones" is the best-selling release of the year with 1.9 million copies. Swift's 2008 release "Fearless" follows with 1.8 million. It was the No. 3 album last year with 2.1 million copies.
Jackson was also nominated for favorite male artist and favorite album ("Number Ones") in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. He won 22 American Music Awards in his lifetime, most recently an honorary "artist of the century" prize in 2002.
Swift was nominated for favorite female artist in both the pop/rock and country categories. "Fearless" will also compete for favorite album in both categories. She was also cited for favorite adult-contemporary artist.
Eminem will compete against Jackson for favorite male artist in the pop/rock category. He was also cited in the rap/hip-hop categories for both favorite male artist and favorite album ("Relapse"). His album is the No. 4 release of 2008 with 1.5 million copies. Continued...