May 18 (Reuters) - Hometown alternative rock group Imagine Dragon was the early winner at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday in Las Vegas, capturing the top rock album award for “Night Visions.”
The annual awards show, a key showcase event for the music industry, will also feature performances by pop singers Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus as well as New Zealand singer Lorde and country star Carrie Underwood.
Rapper Pitbull kicked off the show alongside Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte from the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a performance of “We Are One (Ole Ola),” the theme to next month’s soccer World Cup in Brazil.
Lorde and Imagine Dragons are finalists in a leading 12 categories. The Billboard Music Awards show that measures honors by sales, radio airplay, touring, streaming and other metrics.
Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake will go up against Imagine Dragons, Perry and Cyrus for the top artist prize. Beyonce, Timberlake, country singer Luke Bryan and rappers Eminem and Drake are all finalists for album of the year.
The awards show, hosted by rapper-actor Ludacris, also featured early performances by rock group OneRepublic and Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who performed the song “Problem.” (Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Bernard Orr)