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

A compendium of awards

I wanted to take a moment mid-awards season to look back slightly at the many awards we’ve covered here on Music for stowaways. You can find them all by clicking on the Awards category, but here are some highlights for you, based entirely on my opinion:

That is all, of course, all ignoring our very own Stowaway Awards, which I’ll let you find for yourselves.

BRIT Awards 2019 – Nominations

Here are the not-remotely-dull nominees for the 2019 BRITs:

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

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

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

British Male Solo Artist in association with YouTube Music

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

Nice to see Aphex Twin on that list. Craig David is, as always, completely inexplicable.

British Female Solo Artist in association with YouTube Music

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

British Group

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

British Breakthrough Act

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

International Male Solo Artist

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

International Female Solo Artist

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

International Group

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

Critics’ Choice Award

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Sam Fender
  • Mahalia

Thanks to the BRIT Awards’ completely inexplicable policy of announcing that award a couple of months early every year, we already know that Sam Fender will be the winner of that category.

The rest of the winners will be announced on 20th February.

Stowaway Awards 2019 – Nominations

Who will win in the all-important Stowaway Awards this year? Here are the nominations:

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”

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”

Best Artist

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

Best Live Act

  • Erasure
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • Sparks

Outstanding Contribution

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

The Ultimate Guide to the BRIT Awards

This year’s BRIT Awards will be the 39th ever, and due to the gap between the first and second, it’s over forty years since the first ceremony was held in October 1977. There’s no particular reason for a celebration, but let’s take a moment anyway to look back at the previous 38 ceremonies and the history of the awards!

Artists they love

We calculated the top twenty artists at the BRITs just last year, and – spoiler alert – the top five British acts, in ascending order, were Annie LennoxTake ThatAdeleColdplay, and Robbie Williams. Comparison with the top-selling British acts of all time puts Annie Lennox and Take That nowhere on the list, Adele and Coldplay joint fourteenth alongside others, and Robbie Williams joint twenty-fifth.

Or you could compare with the top sixty singles acts of all timeAnnie Lennox still doesn’t make it, Take That are fifteenth, Adele is a bit too recent for the list, Coldplay are sixtieth, and Robbie Williams is twenty-second.

The BRIT Awards seem to have always struggled with the Female Solo Artist categories, obsessing for years on end over Annie LennoxAlison Moyet, Adele, and (internationally) Björk.

Artists they hate

Contemporary artists who haven’t done quite so well based on those lists include Elton JohnQueen, and David Bowie, who came 15th, off the chart, and 11th respectively, although much of their heyday would have been in the 1970s, and OasisSpice Girls, and George Michael, who have never quite made the cut, appearing 10th, 17th, and somewhere just off the list respectively.

Famously, Radiohead have never won anything despite plenty of nominations, and Jamiroquai also inexplicably got lots of nominations but sanity prevailed on the night, and they never quite won.

Nominated in the wrong category

U2 seem to have caused a bit of confusion about whether they were British or International, having been nominated for awards in both. Solo artists have got a bit confused at times as well, with Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals receiving a solo nomination in 1990, despite not releasing anything on his own for another decade. Fortunately, his group returned their awards after a particularly vomit-inducing appearance from Margaret Thatcher as part of the ceremony. Mick Hucknall also seems to have caused some confusion in 1997 about whether he was a solo act or group, as did.

Trouble at the top

Plenty of drama happens on and off stage at the awards, most of which is well-documented. A new one that I hadn’t come across previously was that somewhat amusingly, Rick Astley apparently couldn’t quite make it up to the stage in time, so wasn’t able to accept his own award.

There have been some very odd choices of presenters – after Michael Aspel presented the first, and Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood were never invited back, a lot of odd people were, including Tim RiceNoel EdmondsSimon Bates, and Russell BrandAnt & Dec have presented three times (2001, 2015, and 2016), Chris Evans has done four (1995, 1996, 2005, and 2006), and astonishingly James Corden

Nobody cares any more

The ceremony has had its ups and downs (Sam Fox, perhaps not unfairly, apparently blames everyone but herself for the 1989 event). Search online, and there are plenty of good articles about the better and worse moments in its history – this one is one of the better researched.

But in its heyday, the BRIT Awards ceremony was event TV, with a sixth of the country watching, but these days, barely five million people can be bothered tuning in.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the run-up to the 2018 BRIT Awards. There’s plenty of coverage on this blog from previous years, but one place to start might be this post from a couple of years ago.