The nominations for this year’s American Music Awards have just been announced. The big headline is Drake’s record-breaking 13 nominations — but the biggest surprise might be Prince’s nomination in the Top Soundtrack category.
Why is it a surprise? Because (a) Purple Rain was released in 1984, not 2016; and (b) it’s already won an American Music Award, for Best Pop/Rock Album in the year it was released. (There was no soundtrack category that year.)
The nomination seems due to the chart success of Purple Rain this year: the album hit number two on the Billboard 200 in the wake of Prince’s death in April. After Prince’s death, the AMAs posted a photo gallery of his appearances at award ceremonies over the years — including his appearance in gold lamé and 3RDEYE sunglasses in 2015.
“American Music Awards nominees are based on key fan interactions,” according to the awards’ website, “including album and digital single sales, radio airplay, streaming, social activity and touring.”
The nomination is tough news for Prince’s competitors: Suicide Squad and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Having lost this year’s Best Score Oscar to the oldest-ever Academy Award winner, John Williams may now lose the AMA to an album released over 30 years ago.
This year’s AMAs are now open for public voting. Winners will be announced on Nov. 20, in a ceremony broadcast live on ABC.