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Billboard, MMVA, Grammy, VMA, BRIT & AMA Awards: What's the Difference?

With the 2013 Billboard Music Awards coming up this Sunday, we break down why this show is unique from music's other top ceremonies

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Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Musician Justin Bieber accepts the award for "Top Male Artist" onstage during the 2013 Billboard Musi
Ethan Miller

Dazzling distinguishing differences:

  • Artists earn awards based on record sales for the past year.
  • The BBMAs are slightly different than Billboard's year-end tallies as they count from March of the previous year to the current year to make the May award show more relevant.
  • Not voted on by a committee but solely by record sales, airplay and/or streaming info.
  • Recently began awarding for social stats including Top Social Artist of the Year, Top Streaming Song and Top Streaming Artist.
  • Went dormant from 2007 to 2010 until returning in 2011.
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MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs)

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 17: Carly Rae Jepsen poses with her 3 awards in the press room at the 23nd Annual MuchMusic Video Awards a
George Pimentel

Dazzling distinguishing differences:

  • Honors Canada's best and most popular music videos of the year.
  • Incorporated streaming into the show with the MuchMusic.com Most Watched Video award for the vid watched the most on the site.
  • Recently held as a large street party (instead of a traditional theatre) in downtown Toronto.
  • The only awards eligible for non-Canadians are MuchMusic.com's most-watched video, the International Video of the Year - Artist, International Video of the Year - Group and UR Fave International Artist or Group awards.
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Grammy Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Beyonce attends The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - press room held at Staples Center on February
Michael Tran

Dazzling distinguishing differences:

  • Considered to be the highest award a musician can earn for their work.
  • An award show put on by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences comprised of musicians, producers, engineers and other professionals with the goal to improve quality of life and "cultural condition" for music and its makers.
  • Record companies and individuals submit recordings to be considered appropriate nominees by more than 150 experts in the business. The entire Recording Academy then votes on all those that made the cut for that year's Grammy categories.
  • Recording Academy members then send picks, but have to either know the songs, go off their knowledge or look up all the songs themselves. This differs from Oscars voters, who receive screenings or DVDs of the works considered.
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MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs)

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Singer Britney Spears, winner of the Video Vanguard Award and Best Pop Video Award for 'Till the
Jason Merritt

Dazzling distinguishing differences: 

  • Honors the best music videos of the year with a lean towards teenage and 20-something year old's tastes.
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BRIT Awards

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Emeli SandÈ  poses with her British Female Solo Artist and Mastercard British Album of the Yea
Tim Whitby

Dazzling distinguishing differences:

  • Considered the British equivalent of the Grammys, but only UK artists can win.
  • Like the VMAs, it's prone to controversial moments like in 1989, when English pop star Samantha Fox and Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood hosted a widely criticized show in which little went as rehearsed and was not broadcast live until 2007.
  • Not very many performers (usually less than 10 acts) compared to other award shows.
  • Non-British artists can win International Male Solo Artist, International Female Solo Artist or International Group.

Psst! We also created this helpful video with important info on the BRIT Awards.

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American Music Awards (AMAs)

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Singer Usher poses with the Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist award in the press room at the 40th
Jason Merritt

Dazzling distinguishing differences:

  • Created by Dick Clark productions in 1973 for a music award show for ABC after its contract to broadcast the Grammys expired.
  • Nominations based around sales, airplay, social activity and video viewing.
  • The last major music award show of the year in the U.S.

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Photo of the day

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