The nominations were released today for the American Music Awards, and we wouldn’t usually make such a big deal about the nominations. But, when word came out today that Michael Jackson had five posthumous nominations, it became very newsworthy.

You may wonder like I did, how Jackson could be up for an award being that he hasn’t released a new album in many years. According to The Rolling Stone, it’s because of the sales racked up by Jackson’s Number Ones, which was released some 6 years ago.

According to a press release, the nominees “were selected from data supplied by the Nielsen Company’s Broadcast Data Systems, which monitors radio airplay performance, and SoundScan, which tracks retail music sales.” This pretty much explains why Michael Jackson and his Number Ones are included on the nominees list: Even though the greatest-hits compilation was originally released in 2003, it’s sold almost two million copies since the King of Pop’s death on June 25th, making Jackson’s eligible for a posthumous Artist of the Year award.

Taylor Swift at the Sydney Factory Theatre

Taylor Swift at the Sydney Factory Theatre

Taylor Swift and Eminem are also up for three awards. Jackson, Swift, Eminem, Lady Gaga, and the Kings of Leon were all nominated for the Artist of the Year award. Swift leads all artists with six nominations, while Jackson had five and Eminem received four.

American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert is scheduled to perform his first single from his upcoming album at the awards show, alongside Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, and Jennifer Lopez.

The show is set to air live on November 22.

You can see a full list of the categories and vote for who you think should win at ABC’s website.

Photo of Taylor Swift by and shared via creative commons