Bruno Mars, nominated for 5 honors, to open BET Awards
The “B’’ in BET Awards could stand for Beyonce or Bruno Mars.
Both pop stars are the top nominees at Sunday’s show, where they will compete in four of the same categories, including video of the year.
Beyonce, who dominated last year’s show with multiple wins and a show-stopping performance, is up for seven honors. Mars, who will open the show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, is nominated for five awards.
Beyonce’s “Sorry” and Mars’ “24K Magic” are nominated for video of the year along with Solange’s “Cranes In the Sky,” Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” and Big Sean’s “Bounce Back.”
Mars and Beyonce will also compete for album of the year, video director of the year and the viewer’s choice award.
Mars has been on an R&B adventure with his latest album, “24K Magic,” which was inspired by ‘90s R&B. The album’s second single, “That’s What I Like,” reached No. 1 on the R&B and pop charts, while “24K Magic” became a Top 5 hit on both genre charts.
The 31-year-old singer-songwriter-producer is also nominated for best male R&B/pop artist, going up against Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Usher and Trey Songz.
Beyonce, who reportedly had her twins earlier this month though she hasn’t commented on the topic, is also nominated for best female R&B/pop artist, pitting her against her sister Solange, Mary J. Blige and Kehlani.
Other strong competition Sunday include best female hip hop artist, where rivals Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma will go head-to-head. Minaj has won the honor consecutively since 2010. Other nominees include Missy Elliott, Young Ma and Cardi B.
Nominees for best male hip hop artist are Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, Future and Big Sean.
Comedian-actress Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live” will host the show, which is set to feature performances by Blige, Brown, DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, Maxwell, New Edition, Future, Xscape, A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Gucci Mane and El DeBarge.
Presenters include Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Trevor Noah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Issa Rae and Yara Shahidi. New Edition, who had success with their BET biopic this year, will receive the lifetime achievement award, while Chance the Rapper will earn the humanitarian award.
The show will air live on BET.