BRIT Awards 2020

The 2020 BRIT Awards were hosted by Jack Whitehall, sadly without his dad in tow, and took place at the O2 Arena in London on Tuesday night (February 18th). Here are the winners of those new-fangled award categories.

British Album of the Year

Presented by Billie Eilish and Finneas. The nominees:

  • Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
  • Harry Styles – Fine Line
  • Stormzy – Heavy is the Head

Winner: Dave

Song of the Year

The award formerly known as Best British Single was presented by the rubbery Tom Jones. Nominated were:

  • Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
  • Dave feat. Burna Boy – Location
  • Calvin Harris and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – Giant
  • Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
  • Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
  • Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
  • Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing with a Stranger
  • Stormzy – Vossi Bop
  • AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
  • Tom Walker – Just You and I

Winner: Lewis Capaldi

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by the also-rubbery Ronnie Wood. The nominees:

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Dave
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Stormzy
  • Harry Styles

Winner: Stormzy

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Ellie Goulding and Jorja Smith. The nominees were:

  • Charli XCX
  • FKA Twigs
  • Mabel
  • Mahalia
  • Freya Ridings

Winner: Mabel

British Group

Presented by an unnecessary large group consisting of Anne-Marie, Courtney Love, and Hailee Steinfeld. Nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Bring Me the Horizon
  • Coldplay
  • D-Block Europe
  • Foals

Winner: Foals

Best New Artist

The now-elderly Best British Newcomer and subsequently Best British Breakthrough Act award was presented by Clara Amfo and Niall Horan. Nominees:

  • Aitch
  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Dave
  • Sam Fender
  • Mabel

Winner: Lewis Capaldi

International Male Solo Artist

Improbably presented by Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith, with the following nominees:

  • Burna Boy
  • Dermot Kennedy
  • Post Malone
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Tyler, the Creator

Winner: Tyler, the Creator

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Melanie C. Nominated were:

  • Camila Cabello
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Billie Eilish
  • Ariana Grande
  • Lizzo

Winner: Billie Eilish

Rising Star Award

This one used to be the Critics’ Choice Award. Nominated were:

  • Beabadoobee
  • Celeste
  • Joy Crookes

Winner: Celeste

British Producer of the Year

Winner: Fred Again

So that’s it for another year!

Ivor Novello Awards 2019

Another ceremony we missed was the 2019 Ivor Novello Awards, or “Ivors”. Intended to honour songwriters rather than performers, these never get a huge amount of attention, but occasionally someone or something of interest gets honoured.

The ceremony took place on the 23rd of May, at Grosvenor House in London.

Ivors Inspiration Award

Winner: Wiley

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

Nominated were:

  • Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) – Four Out of Five
  • Ben Howard – Nica Libres at Dusk
  • Hozier – Nina Cried Power

Winner: Ben Howard

Best Contemporary Song

The nominees:

  • Ghetts feat. Kojey Redical – Black Rose
  • Jorja Smith (with Guy Bonnet, Dizzee Rascal, and Roman Romanelli) – Blue Lights
  • The1975 – Love it if We Made it

Winner: The 1975

Outstanding Song Collection

Winner: Dido, who, by the way, is pretty much the only person on this list who I’ve heard of, which probably shows how out of touch I am these days…

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

Nominees:

  • Jax Jones feat. Ina Wroldsen – Breathe
  • George Ezra – Shotgun
  • Rudimental feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen – These Days

Winner: Rudimental and friends

Jazz Award

Winner: Django Bates

Best Album

Nominees:

  • Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
  • Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
  • Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance

Winner: Idles

International Achievement

Winner: Deep Purple, Mark II — Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord (posthumous) and Ian Paice

Outstanding Contribution to British Music

Winner: Richard Ashcroft

Best Original Video Game Score

Nominees:

  • Michael Georgiades, Joe Henson and Alexis Smith – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • David Housden – Q.U.B.E. 2
  • Robin Bealand – Sea of Thieves

Winner: Sea of Thieves

Best Television Soundtrack

Nominees:

  • Arthur Sharpe – Flowers (Series 2)
  • Clint Mansell – Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
  • Natasha Khan and Dominik Scherrer – Requiem

Winner: Requiem

Best Original Film Score

Nominees:

  • Anne Nikitin – American Animals
  • Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Pemberton – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Winner: Jonny Greenwood

Mercury Prize 2019

I honestly didn’t forget about this – I just wanted to pull the late awards ceremonies from last year into a series of posts around now. So let’s start with the easy one, last year’s Mercury Prize. There are just twelve nominees every year leading to a single prize for what is, in theory, the year’s best album. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Black Midi – Schlagenheim
  • Anna Calvi – Hunter
  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
  • Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
  • Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance
  • Cate Le Bon – Reward
  • Little Simz – Grey Area
  • The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  • Nao – Saturn
  • SEED Ensemble – Driftglass
  • slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

The winner was Dave. The rapper, not the television channel.

BRIT Awards 2020 – Nominations

Well, someone has been meddling with the categories this year, but the BRIT Awards nominations are finally among us!

British Album of the Year

  • Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
  • Harry Styles – Fine Line
  • Stormzy – Heavy is the Head

Song of the Year

That’s the award formerly known as Best British Single.

  • Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
  • Dave feat. Burna Boy – Location
  • Calvin Harris and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – Giant
  • Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
  • Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
  • Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
  • Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing with a Stranger
  • Stormzy – Vossi Bop
  • AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
  • Tom Walker – Just You and I

British Male Solo Artist

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Dave
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Stormzy
  • Harry Styles

British Female Solo Artist

  • Charli XCX
  • FKA Twigs
  • Mabel
  • Mahalia
  • Freya Ridings

British Group

  • Bastille
  • Bring Me the Horizon
  • Coldplay
  • D-Block Europe
  • Foals

Best New Artist

This one used to be called Best British Newcomer, and then became Best British Breakthrough Act.

  • Aitch
  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Dave
  • Sam Fender
  • Mabel

International Male Solo Artist

  • Burna Boy
  • Dermot Kennedy
  • Post Malone
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Tyler, the Creator

International Female Solo Artist

  • Camila Cabello
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Billie Eilish
  • Ariana Grande
  • Lizzo

Rising Star Award

This one used to be the Critics’ Choice Award. The new name makes sense, to some degree. The fact that they tell us who’s going to win ahead of time does not.

  • Beabadoobee
  • Celeste
  • Joy Crookes

Winner: Celeste, which I’m sure will upset Daphne. Ooh, stick you.

BRIT Awards 2019

Well, after a particularly dull set of nominees, the 2019 BRITs turned out to be somewhat interesting after all. The 39th edition of the ceremony took place last week on 20th February at the O2 Arena in London, where they were hosted again by Jack Whitehall.

Mastercard British Album of the Year

  • Anne-Marie – Speak Your Mind
  • George Ezra – Staying at Tamara’s
  • Florence + The Machine – High as Hope
  • The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
  • Jorja Smith – Lost & Found

Winner: The 1975

Famously, UKTV Play accidentally played an advert for “double award winners” The 1975 before the event had actually started, replacing it later with the correct “nominees” advert – as BBC News said:

It’s not clear whether the band had been made aware of what their marketing department knew – but it shone an awkward spotlight on every tearful “this is so unexpected” speech we’ve seen this awards season.

BBC News

Which is about as exciting as things got, so, as is sometimes the case, the biggest drama of the night didn’t actually take place on stage.

Oh, and let’s all agree to overlook the fact that the same article also rather stupidly takes the opportunity to wonder why so little overseas talent made it to this event which is supposed to celebrate the strength of British music (err… what are the awards called, again?)

British Single of the Year

  • Anne-Marie – 2002
  • Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
  • Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato – Solo
  • Dua Lipa – IDGAF
  • George Ezra – Shotgun
  • Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
  • Ramz – Barking
  • Rudimental feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen – These Days
  • Sigala and Paloma Faith – Lullaby
  • Tom Walker – Leave a Light On

Winner: Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa

British Video of the Year

  • Anne-Marie – 2002
  • Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa – One Kiss
  • Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato – Solo
  • Dua Lipa – IDGAF
  • Jax Jones feat. Ina Wroldsen – Breathe
  • Jonas Blue feat. Jack & Jack – Rise
  • Liam Payne and Rita Ora – For You
  • Little Mix feat. Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
  • Rita Ora – Let You Love Me
  • Rudimental feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen – These Days

Winner: Little Mix feat. Nicki Minaj

British Male Solo Artist in association with YouTube Music

  • Aphex Twin
  • Craig David
  • George Ezra
  • Giggs
  • Sam Smith

Winner: George Ezra

British Female Solo Artist in association with YouTube Music

  • Lily Allen
  • Anne-Marie
  • Florence + The Machine
  • Jess Glynne
  • Jorja Smith

Winner: Jorja Smith

British Group

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Gorillaz
  • Little Mix
  • The 1975
  • Years and Years

Winner: The 1975

British Breakthrough Act

  • Idles
  • Mabel
  • Ella Mai
  • Jorja Smith
  • Tom Walker

Winner: Tom Walker

International Male Solo Artist

  • Drake
  • Eminem
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Travis Scott
  • Kamasi Washington

Winner: Drake

International Female Solo Artist

  • Camila Cabello
  • Cardi B
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Ariana Grande
  • Janelle Monáe

Winner: Ariana Grande

International Group

  • Brockhampton
  • The Carters
  • Chic
  • First Aid Kit
  • Twenty One Pilots

Winner: The Carters

Critics’ Choice Award

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Sam Fender
  • Mahalia

Winner: Sam Fender

British Producer of the Year

Winner: Calvin Harris

Global Success Award

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Winner: Pink

Great to see this award back at last, but Pink, of all people? Really?

Performances

This year’s performances were as follows:

  • Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Show
  • George Ezra & Hot 8 Brass Band – Shotgun
  • Little Mix & Ms Banks – Woman Like Me
  • Jorja Smith – Don’t Watch Me Cry
  • Calvin Harris, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Sam Smith & Dua Lipa – Giant, Promises & One Kiss
  • Jess Glynne & H.E.R. – Thursday
  • The 1975 – Sincerity is Scary
  • Pink & Dan Smith – Walk Me Home, Just Like Fire, Just Give Me a Reason, Try, and What About Us

Further Reading

Grammy Awards 2019

Every year, the Grammy Awards land, with their multitude of absurdly specific categories, and every year, I struggle to pull together a post about some of the highlights. Here’s this year’s attempt!

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

The winner was Willie Nelson, for My Way, but he beat Seal‘s Standards. Apparently “pop” means something different at the Grammy Awards to the rest of the world.

Best Dance Recording

Above and Beyond were nominated for Northern Soul, with Richard Bedford, but they lost to Silk City and Dua Lipa and Diplo and Mark Ronson, probably mainly just by virtue of the length of their artist credit.

Best Dance/Electronic Album

As the description says, “for vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.” I wonder whether EPs count? Anyway, Justice won for Woman Worldwide, beating stiff competition from Jon Hopkins‘s Singularity and a few others that I’ve never heard of.

Totally Gaga

Finally, because I’m clearly short of things to comment on this year, it was interesting to see just how good a year Lady Gaga has had at the Grammy Awards, with nominations for Record of the Year, and Song of the Year, and wins for Best Pop Solo Performance (Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’)), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (Shallow, with Bradley Cooper), and Best Song Written for Visual Media (same).

So well done to all of them, anyway. Hopefully they’re excited.

Stowaway Awards 2019

So now we finally find out who the winners of the all-important 2019 Stowaways are!

Best Single

Already announced just before the new year, the winner of the Best Single award this year goes to Ladytron, for The Animals.

Best Album

  • Dubstar “One”
  • Front Line Assembly “WarMech”
  • The Future Sound of London “My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)”
  • Jean-Michel Jarre “Equinoxe Infinity”
  • The Radiophonic Workshop “Possum”

The winner is: The Future Sound of London

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • The Beloved “Reissue Series”
  • The Human League “Secrets”
  • Jean-Michel Jarre “Planet Jarre”
  • Soft Cell “Keychains & Snowstorms – The Singles”
  • Yazoo “Four Pieces”

The winner is: The Human League

Best Artist

  • The Future Sound of London
  • Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Ladytron
  • The Presets
  • The Radiophonic Workshop

The winner is: The Radiophonic Workshop

Best Live Act

  • Erasure
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • Sparks

The winner is: Sparks

Outstanding Contribution

  • David Bowie
  • Everything But The Girl
  • The Future Sound of London
  • Hot Chip
  • Leftfield

The winner is: David Bowie