Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault on Rihanna in June 2009, will face off with his former flame in two categories, Viewers' Choice and Best Collaboration, which will pit his "Look at Me Now" against her collabo with Drake on "What's My Name."
The Best Female R&B Artist race will feature Rihanna against Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson and Marsha Ambrosius, while the male category will have Brown facing Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars, Trey Songz and Usher.
Just days after rapper M-Bone was killed in a drive-by shooting, his group, Cali Swag District, was nominated in the Best Group category alongside Diddy-Dirty Money, N.E.R.D., New Boyz and Travis Porter.
In addition to Rihanna, Brown is up against himself in the Best Collaboration race, which also includes B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, "Airplanes"; Brown featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, "Look at Me Now"; Brown featuring Tyga & Kevin McCall, "Deuces"; Waka Flocka Flame featuring Roscoe Dash & Wale, "No Hands"; Rihanna featuring Drake, "What's My Name"; and Kanye West featuring Rihanna, "All of the Lights."
West will battle B.o.B, Drake, Weezy and Rick Ross for the Best Male Hip-Hop Artist crown, while Nicki Minaj leads the female category. Tween Willow Smith is in the Video of the Year mix with her breakthrough hit, "Whip My Hair," which will vie against Marsha Ambrosius' "Far Away," B.o.B's "Airplanes," Brown's "Look at Me Now," Hilson's "Pretty Girl Rock" and West's "Runaway."
Willow is also up for Best New Artist against J. Cole, Bruno Mars, Miguel and Wiz Khalifa. She and her brother, Jaden, are taking their sibling career rivalry to the YoungStars Award category, where they face another famous kid, Diggy Simmons.
In one of the more surprising bids, Brown landed a Best Actor nomination for his work in "Takers," in which he'll face such veterans as Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba and Don Cheadle.
Joining Brown and Rihanna in the Viewers' Choice slot are Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz, "6 Foot 7 Foot"; Mindless Behavior, "My Girl"; Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, "Moment 4 Life"; and Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj, "Bottoms Up." The show airs live on June 26 from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium.