The American Music Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday (October 9, 2012), pitting R&B star Rihanna against rapper Nicki Minaj in four categories The pair led the nominations, edging out pop sensations One Direction and Justin Bieber, reports Reuters


On paper, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj hold the most nominations, though it's the former artist who will no doubt be the happier of the two, having been given a nod in the most prestigious category: artist of the year. The Barbadian goes up against Bieber, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and rapper Drake for the award, with every chance of scooping the prize come the ceremony on November 18, 2012. Minaj, who is creating waves as a judge on American Idol, secured nominations for Female Pop/Rock Artist and a couple of nods for album 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.' Last year's big winners, Taylor Swift and Adele, both scored three awards each, with the latter certain to the take the award for 'Adult Contemporary Artist' in a weak category also featuring Kelly Clarkson and Train.

Though many of the prizes on offer are a formality, the battle for Best New Artist appears to be an intriguing affair. R&B singer J.Cole goes up against indie-pop band Fun, singer-songwriter Goyte, Carly Rae Jepson and One Direction.