Country star Kenny Rogers was nominated six times and soul singer Diana Ross was picked four times yesterday for 15 American Music Awards to be selected through a national sampling of 30,000 record buyers.

Winners of the awards -- five each in the three categories of pop-rock, coutry and soul -- will be announced Jan. 30 in a national telecast on the ABC network.

Rogers was nominated as favorite male vocalist in both the pop-rock and country categories. He also received two nominations each for favorite country single and favorite country album -- "Coward of the Country," "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer," which he recorded with Kim Carnes, "The Gambler" and "Ten Years of Gold."

Ross was nominated favorite soul female vocalist. "Upside Down" was tabbed for honors as the favorite single in both the pop-rock and soul categories and "Diana" was nominated favorite soul album.

Michael Jackson received three nominations, two for his album "Off the Wall," in both the soul and pop-rock categories, and one as favorite soul male vocalist.

Double nominations went to Queen as favorite pop-rock group and pop-rock single for "Another One Bites the Dust"; Bob Seger as favorite pop-rock male vocalist and pop-rock album for "Aganist the Wind," which he recorded with the Silver Bullet Band; and Crystal Gayle as favorite country female vocalist and country single for "Half The Way."

Other double nominees were George Benson as favorite soul male vocalist and soul single for "Give Me The Night" and Teddy Pendergrass as favorite soul male vocalist and soul album for "T.P."

In the pop-rock category, Billy Joel is competing with Rogers and Seger for favorite male vocalist and The Eagles and Rolling Stones are competing with Queen for favorite group.

Other pop-rock nominees are Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt and Barbra Strisand for favorite female vocalist, and Pink Floyd for the single "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2."

In the country category, Willie Nelson and Charley Pride are competing with Rogers for favorite male vocalist and Barbara Mandrell and Anne Murray are competing with Gayle for favorite female vocalist.

Other country music nominees are the Charlie Daniels Band, the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler Brothers for favorite group, and Waylon Jennings' "Greatest Hits" for favorite album.

In the soul category, Benson, Jackson and Pendergrass are competing for favorite male vocalist, and Chaka Khan and Stephanie Mills are competing against Ross for favorite female vocalist.

Other soul nominees are Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang and the O'Jays for favorite group, and Larry Graham for the single "One in a Million You."

Names of the nominees are compiled from year-end sales charts of major industry publications. A spokeman for Dick Clark Teleshows, which produces the awards show, said the sampling of voters will be balanced by area, age, sex and ethnic origiin of record buyers.

Besides the 15 competitive awards, the show will also include presentation of a special Distinguished Merit Award. Previous winners of that honor have included Irving Berlin, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.