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Sting will receive a special merit award and perform at the 2016 American Music Awards

Sting will receive a special merit award and perform at the 2016 American Music Awards
Sting performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival on Sept. 24 in Las Vegas. (John Salangsang / Invision/Associated Press)

Sting is headed to the American Music Awards. Dick Clark Productions and ABC have announced that the British singer-songwriter will be honored with the American Music Award of Merit at this year’s ceremony. 

The musician will also be making his performance debut at the 2016 AMAs when he takes the stage to perform a medley of his greatest hits, as well as "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," the first single off his upcoming album "57th & 9th."

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The American Music Award of Merit, last awarded in 2008 to Annie Lennox, is a special award given only to artists who have made truly exceptional contributions to the music industry. Prince, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Whitney Houston and Bon Jovi are among the previous honorees. 

The American Music Awards, unlike the Grammy Awards, is an annual fan-voted awards show. Nominations are based on a metric that includes album and digital song sales, radio airplay, streaming, social activity and touring. The winners are voted on by fans, who can submit their picks online and through Twitter (multiple times throughout the voting period).

Drake leads this year's field with a record-breaking 13 nominations. Rihanna follows with seven nominations, and Adele and Justin Bieber earned five nods each.

The 2016 American Music Awards will air live Nov. 20 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on ABC with Bruno Mars set to open the show. 

Sting's "57th & 9th" will be released Nov. 11.

Twitter: @tracycbrown

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