The awards will be presented Nov. 22 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles during a three-hour ABC-TV special hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.
Additional artists will be added to the lineup and announced at a later date, ABC said Tuesday.
Nominees in pop/rock, country, soul/rhythm & blues, rap/hip-hop, Latin, alternative, contemporary inspirational and adult contemporary categories were chosen on the basis of record sales. Winners will be selected by a survey of about 20,000 listeners.
Carey, Chesney and Thomas are among the nominees.