The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards is set to air live on Sunday, March 11th at the Forum in Los Angeles, California. For the fifth straight year, the ceremony will celebrate the most talked about artists and songs heard throughout the last year across radio stations and the iHeartRadio app. Throughout the year, these artists have released hits that have impacted radio stations across the nation.
For the first time, iHeartRadio will be including fans in this year’s show. Fans will be able to vote for “Best Fan Army”, “Best Cover Song”, “Best Solo Breakout”, and even “Best Musician Pet”. Voting for these categories are now open at the iHeartRadio awards page. Don’t forget to vote! In the mean time, check out some of the most prominent Black nominees below!
Making her debut in 2003, Rihanna has not stopped pushing the barrier in her musical career. The singer has continuously challenged the media and has showcased the balance of being a humanitarian and one of the most notable pop icons of the decade. Her nomination for the 2018 iHearRadio female artist of the year and Best R&B Artist is no surprise, as her release of her 8th studio album, ANTI, brought on a new sound for the singer.
2. The Weeknd
This Toronto native made his mark in 2011 with “House of Balloons”, a 50 minute track with dark R&B tunes flowing through headphones and speakers across the U.S. With his continued rise, The Weeknd has released two more unique sounding albums and has been featured on many soundtracks. His nomination for Best Male Artist and Best R&B Artist of the Year is to be noted as his star continues to rise.
This Canadian native is not just a rapper. He is also a songwriter, producer, and singer. Rising to super stardom in 2006, the rapper has gone on to release songs with prominent artists such as Rihanna, The Weeknd, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj. The rapper’s catchy hooks and beats land him as one of the nominees in the Hip-Hop Artist of the Year category.
4. Kendrick Lamar
Originally known as K-Dot, the Compton, California native released many mixtapes under his formative name until he was picked up by a major record label. Making his album debut in 2011, Lamar spilled beats and lyrics detailing the harsh life he has witnessed throughout this childhood. The socially conscious and at times, politically driven lyrics with catchy beats has made Lamar a nominee for Hip-Hop Artist of the Year.
Future maybe known for creating a duet album with Drake, but this Hip-Hop Artist of the Year nominee has been paving his way in the music industry for quite some time. Making his mainstream debut in 2011, Future has been featured on tracks with Rihanna and Pharrell. His most prominent album, HNDRXX gained popular success and critical acclaim, and continues to peak through the charts.
6. 21 Savage
The Atlanta based rapper has landed a Best New Hip-Hop Artist nominee for making a splash with his debut album, Issa Album. Peaking on the Billboard charts, 21 Savage does not plan to stop. With collaborations with Metro Boomin and other influential hip-hop artists, 21 Savage’s star continues to rise.
7. Cardi B
Debuting with her smash hit, Bodak Yellow and being featured on Migos’ ever popular Motor Sport, Cardi B continues to release strong hits such as Bartier Cardi. It comes as no surprise as to why this artist has been nominated as a Best New Hip-Hop Artist.
8. Lil Uzi Vert
His unique style of rapping in XO TOUR Llif3 has made Lil Uzi Vert an artist to watch out for in the coming year. With Marilyn Manson, Paramore, Kanye West, and Pharrell as his inspirations, we can anticipate many unique tracks from this Best New Hip-Hop Artist nominee.
This SoundCloud artist rose to prominence indie and hip-hop mixes. With is album making an appearance in 2017, we can expect a lot more from this Best New Hip-Hop Artist nominee
10. Playboi Carti
Although the release of this mixtape in 2016 received notable attention from various music publications, Playboi Carti gained recognition when he was featured on Lil Uzi Vert’s song, Woke Up Like This. As a Best New Hip-Hop Artist nominee, Playboi Carti has a lot more room to grow in his music career.
11. Childish Gambino
Donald Glover may have first made his name by starting in hit shows such as Community and Atlanta, but he has solidified his artistic talents under his rapper name, Childish Gambino. The rapper, producer, and songwriter burst onto the scene with his ultra catchy 3005 and Sweatpants. Riding from that success, the rapper later refined his sound with his soulful funk, R&B hit Redbone. Taking influences from psychedelic soul and funk, Gambino is one of the most noted nominees in the R&B Artist of the Year category.
His hit song Location catapulted young artist Khalid to Grammy spotlight. His features with Kendrick Lamar, Logic, and Alissia Clara has gained him much attention and a signing with RCA Records.
Although SZA has been in the music industry since 2013, it wasn’t until she dropped her 2017 album Ctrl, where she earned critical acclaim, that she received popular success. Recently, she has been featured on the Black Panther soundtrack with Kendrick Lamar.
Check out iHeartRadio for more information on these talented artists