Columbia recording artist Mariah Carey copped six nominations to lead contenders for the 20th annual American Music Awards. Nomination were announced yesterday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Michael Jackson and rappers Kris Kross both took home five bids, while country pop star Billy Ray Cyrus had four nominations. Arrested Development, Garth Brooks, Genesis, TLC and Vanessa Williams had three nominations apiece.

The three-hour Dick Clark production, annually one of the highest-rated awards shows, will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Jan. 25 on ABC.

Hosts for the show will be Bobby Brown, Gloria Estefan and Wynonna.

Nominations for the 25 awards in six categories were announced by singers Pat Benatar and Eddie Money.

The winner of the annual Award of Merit also will be presented during the telecast, given for “outstanding contributions over a long period of time to the musical entertainment of the American public.”

Nominees are selected from data compiled by trade publication Radio & Records and SoundScan, the record industry’s point-of-sale data collector.

Winners will be chosen by the public from a ballot mailed to 20,000 consumers , taking into account age, sex, geographic location and ethnic origin.

Results of the voting, tabulated by the KPMG Peat Marwick accounting firm, are kept secret until the ceremonies.

Awards executive producer is Dick Clark; producers are Al Schwartz and Larry Klein, with Jeff Margolis directing.

Writer is Robert Arthur, executive in charge of production is Don Wollman, music director is Lenny Stack, production designer is Ray Klausen, talent executive is Susan Abramson and executive in charge is Fran La Maina.

A complete list of nominees follows.

POP/ROCK

Male artist: Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson.

Female artist: Mariah Carey, Amy Grant, Bonnie Raitt, Vanessa Williams.

Band, duo or group: Genesis, Kris Kross, U2.

Single: “End of the Road,” Boyz II Men; “I’ll Be There,” Carey; “Under the Bridge,” Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Album: “Dangerous,” Jackson; “Totally Krossed Out,” Kris Kross; “Achtung Baby ,” U2.

New artist: Arrested Development, Pearl Jam, TLC.

SOUL/R&B

Male artist: Bobby Brown, Tevin Campbell, Jackson, Gerald Levert.

Female artist: Mary J. Blige, Carey, Patti LaBelle, Williams.

Band, duo or group: Boyz II Men, En Vogue, Jodeci.

Single: “Remember the Time,” Jackson; “Honey Love,” R. Kelly and Public Announcement; “Somebody Loves You Baby,” LaBelle.

Album: “Unplugged,” Carey; “Funky Divas,” En Vogue; “Dangerous,” Jackson.

New artist: Arrested Development, Jodeci, Kris Kross.

COUNTRY

Male artist: Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson.

Female artist: Reba McEntire, Lorrie Morgan, Tanya Tucker, Wynonna.

Band, duo or group: Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Sawyer Brown.

Single: “The River,” Brooks; “Achy Breaky Heart,” Cyrus; “I Still Believe in You,” Gill.

Album: “The Chase,” Brooks; “Some Gave All,” Cyrus; “For My Broken Heart,” McEntire.

New artist: Brooks & Dunn, Cyrus, Wynonna.

HEAVY METAL/HARD ROCK

Artist: Def Leppard, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

New artist: Mr. Big, Pearl Jam, Ugly Kid Joe.

RAP/HIP-HOP

Artist: Kris Kross, Sir Mix-A-Lot, TLC.

New artist: Arrested Development, Kris Kross, TLC.

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Artist: Bolton, Carey; Genesis.

Album: “Unplugged,” Carey; “We Can’t Dance,” Genesis; “Comfort Zone,” Williams.

New artist: k.d. lang, Jon Secada, Patty Smyth.

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