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Drake, Beyonce early winners at 2017 Billboard Music Awards

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/21/2017 By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake and the Chainsmokers are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21, in Las Vegas. The rapper and electronic dance duo are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake and the Chainsmokers are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21, in Las Vegas. The rapper and electronic dance duo are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

Drake will walk into the 2017 Billboard Music Awards already a winner: He earned 10 early awards Sunday morning.

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2017 file photo, Andrew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall of the musical group The Chainsmokers arrive at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Chainsmokers and Drake are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21 in Las Vegas. The electronic dance duo and the rapper are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2017 file photo, Andrew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall of the musical group The Chainsmokers arrive at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Chainsmokers and Drake are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21 in Las Vegas. The electronic dance duo and the rapper are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The rapper and the electronic dance duo the Chainsmokers were top contenders with 22 nominations each.

The early winners announced Sunday by dick clark productions included Beyonce, who won five, and twenty one pilots, who won four. The Chainsmokers picked up three honors in the early announcement.

The Billboard Awards will be held Sunday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where more awards will be announced.

Drake and the Chainsmokers are two of the few top-nominated acts who plan to attend the show. Beyonce, Rihanna, Adele, Ariana Grande, the Weeknd, twenty one pilots and Shawn Mendes will not attend.

Some are on tour, while Beyonce is pregnant with twins. It was unclear if Justin Bieber will go to the show.

All 10 of those acts are nominated for the night's biggest award — top artist.

Some of Drake's early wins included top Billboard 200 artist, top Hot 100 artist, top rap artist, top rap album ("Views") and top R&B song ("One Dance"). Beyonce's wins included top female artist, top touring artist and top R&B album for "Lemonade," the visual project that won a Peabody Award on Saturday at its 76th annual event in New York.

The Chainsmokers, named top dance/electronic artist, are nominated twice for top Hot 100 song with "Closer," which spent 12 weeks at No. 1 last year, and the Grammy-winning "Don't Let Me Down," which peaked at No. 3. Other nominees include Drake's "One Dance" (10 weeks at No. 1); Justin Timberlake's Oscar-nominated "Can't Stop the Feeling!" (a week at No. 1); and twenty one pilots' "Heathens," which peaked at No. 2.

Nominees for top Billboard 200 album are Beyonce's "Lemonade," Drake's "Views," Rihanna's "Anti," twenty one pilots' "Blurryface" and the Weeknd's "Starboy."

Imagine Dragons, who will perform during the live show, will pay tribute to the late Chris Cornell in words before they hit the stage. Cornell died Thursday after performing with Soundgarden in Detroit.

Others set to perform Sunday include Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, John Legend, Halsey, former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello and Julia Michaels, the singer who has also co-written hit songs for Bieber, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Nick Jonas, Hailee Steinfeld and more.

Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens will host the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and airs live on both coasts on ABC.

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Online:

https://www.billboardmusicawards.com/

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