Top 10 Artists To Watch at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards

1
Rihanna

Rihanna
Rihanna. Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Rihanna is one of the hottest pop chart artists of the moment. That is nothing new of course, but her durability as a top pop artist is phenomenal. Her current album Anti became her second consecutive #1 on the album chart. The nine weeks that the single "Work" spent at #1 moved Rihanna ahead of the Beatles into second place for the most weeks spent at #1 on the US pop chart. Only Mariah Carey has more. She has also recently reached the top 10 with her solo single "Needed Me" and as featured vocalist on Calvin Harris' "This Is What You Came For." Rihanna is currently performing on her Anti world concert tour.

Top 20 Rihanna songs

Watch Rihanna perform "Work" live

2
Britney Spears

Britney Spears
Britney Spears. Photo by Denise Truscello / Getty Images

Britney Spears will kick off the 2016 Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her hits. She will also receive the Billboard Millennium Award. The performance is expected to be an adaptation of her current Las Vegas show. A new Britney Spears single is expected this summer. She is credited with sales over 100 million albums worldwide and nearly 30 million digital singles in the US alone.

Top 20 Britney Spears songs

Watch Britney Spears perform "Toxic" live

3
Madonna

Madonna
Madonna. Photo by Graham Denholm / Getty Images

With the untimely death of Prince recently, a tribute was deemed necessary at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Details have not been released about the performance, but officials say it will be "intimate." Madonna recently concluded her world concert tour. The total gross from ticket sales from the tour was $169.8 million with over one million tickets sold. Madonna ranks as the third top grossing concert artist of all time according to Billboard just behind The Rolling Stones and U2. 

Complete list of Madonna's top 10 pop hits

Watch Madonna perform "Like a Virgin" live

4
Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber. Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Whether you are a Justin Bieber fan or not, he has had a phenomenal recent run of hits. Three consecutive singles from his album Purpose hit #1 on the pop singles chart. They include "What Do You Mean?," "Sorry," and "Love Yourself." Purpose was no slouch on its own. It has already been certified three times platinum in the US. He is expected to perform "Sorry" along with "Company," his latest single which has climbed to the top 20 at mainstream pop radio.

Top 10 Justin Bieber songs

Watch Justin Bieber perform "Sorry" live

5
Pink

Pink
Pink. Photo by Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Pink has a reputation for delivering powerful live performances at awards ceremonies. Her performance of "Glitter In the Air" from a trapeze at the 2010 Grammy Awards is legendary. Advance word indicates we should expect something special again. She will be singing her new single "Just Like Fire" from the soundtrack to the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass. It is already a top 10 hit at adult pop radio.

Top 10 Pink songs

Watch Pink perform "Glitter In the Air" live 

6
Celine Dion

Celine Dion
Celine Dion. Photo by Denise Truscello / WireImage

Celine Dion will receive the Icon Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards and will give her first televised performance since the death of her husband Rene Angelil in January. She has chosen Queen's "The Show Must Go On" to perform. The song has its own poignant history. It was written and recorded in the wake of Freddie Mercury's efforts to continue to perform despite being deathly ill from complications of AIDS. Fellow group member Brian May was concerned that Freddie Mercury was too ill to sing the song, but he rallied for a successful recording.

Top 10 Celine Dion songs

Watch Celine Dion perform "The Power Of Love" live

7
Kesha

Kesha
Kesha. Photo by Michael Kovac / Getty Images

One of the biggest controversies preceding the 2016 Billboard Music Awards was word that Dr. Luke would prevent Kesha from performing live as part of their ongoing disputes. Reportedly, her performance was approved as long as she doesn't use it as a platform to discuss the legal matters. She is expected to sing Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe."

Watch Kesha perform "Die Young" live

8
Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor. Photo by C. Flanigan / FilmMagic

All eyes were on Meghan Trainor this spring to see if she could avoid a sophomore curse with her second album. After three top 10 pop hits including the #1 smash "All About That Bass" from her debut album, she returned with the aggressive female independence message of "No." She simply picked up where she left off. The song hit #3 on the pop chart and has sold more than a million copies. Her follow up "Me Too" was just released on May 5, 2016.

Top 10 Meghan Trainor songs

Watch Meghan Trainor perform "No" live

9
Nick Jonas and Tove Lo

Nick Jonas and Tove Lo
Nick Jonas and Tove Lo. Photo by Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images

"Close" is the sultry lead single from Nick Jonas' upcoming third studio album Last Year Was Complicated. It is a duet with Sweden's Tove Lo who also co-wrote the song with hitmakers Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. They will perform the hit together at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. "Close" has already taken off on the charts entering the top 15 at mainstream pop radio. The pair received acclaim for their April 16, 2016 performance of "Close" on Saturday Night Live.

Watch Nick Jonas and Tove Lo perform "Close" live

10
Lukas Graham

Lukas Graham
Lukas Graham. Photo by Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Arguably, the biggest left-field pop hit of 2016 so far is "7 Years," the breakthrough single from Danish group Lukas Graham. Prior to its release, they had six consecutive top 5 charting pop hits at home in Denmark. The sweetly sentimental "7 Years" caught the world's imagination. It has gone to #1 in the US and the UK as well as many other countries around the world. The group will bring "7 Years" to the 2016 Billboard Music Awards stage.

Watch Lukas Graham perform "7 Years" live