BRIT Awards 2021

The 2020 BRIT Awards snuck in just before that pandemic thing, and so it was only a fifteen month wait between awards. Famed as the first indoor music event in the UK in over a year, Jack Whitehall presented the ceremony at the O2 Arena in London on 11 May.

Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • AJ Tracey
  • Headie One
  • J Hus
  • Joel Corry
  • Yungblud

Winner: J Hus

Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Arlo Parks
  • Celeste
  • Dua Lipa
  • Jessie Ware
  • Lianne La Havas

Winner: Dua Lipa

British Group

Nominees:

  • Bicep
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Little Mix
  • The 1975
  • Young T & Bugsey

Winner: Little Mix

British Single with Mastercard

Nominees:

  • 220 Kid & GRACEY – Don’t Need Love
  • Aitch & AJ Tracey feat. Tay Keith – Rain
  • Dua Lipa – Physical
  • Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
  • Headie One feat. AJ Tracey and Stormzy – Ain’t It Different
  • Joel Corry feat. MNEK – Head & Heart
  • Nathan Dawe feat. KSI – Lighter
  • Regard & RAYE – Secrets
  • S1MBA feat. DTG – Rover
  • Young T & Bugsey feat. Headie One – Don’t Rush

Winner: Harry Styles

Breakthrough Artist

Winner:

  • Arlo Parks
  • Bicep
  • Celeste
  • Joel Corry
  • Young T & Bugsey

Winner: Arlo Parks

International Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Ariana Grande
  • Billie Eilish
  • Cardi B
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Taylor Swift

Winner: Billie Eilish

International Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Burna Boy
  • Childish Gambino
  • Tame Impala
  • The Weeknd

Winner: The Weeknd

International Group

Nominees:

  • BTS
  • Fontaines D.C.
  • Foo Fighters
  • Haim
  • Run The Jewels

Winner: Haim

Global Icon

Winner: Taylor Swift

Mastercard Album

Nominees:

  • Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams
  • Celeste – Not Your Muse
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • J Hus – Big Conspiracy
  • Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

Winner: Dua Lipa

BRITs Rising Star

Nominees:

  • Griff
  • Pa Salieu
  • Rina Sawayama

Winner: Griff

Performances included Coldplay, Olivia Rodrigo, Elton John with Years & Years (performing It’s a Sin, which was apparently also supposed to include Pet Shop Boys but they turned out to be unable to join for rights reasons), Pink, and many others.

There was also some rumbling controversy this year due to Sam Smith identifying as non-binary, and so not fitting any of the common “male”, “female”, or “group” categories. It will be interesting to see how this comes to be addressed in future years, as the categories are as old as the ceremony itself.

You can see the official list of winners here.

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BRIT Awards 2021 – Nominations

The 2021 BRITs were delayed by three months, thanks to some kind of global pandemic thingy, but they’re coming soon, presented again by Jack Whitehall. Here’s the full list of nominees for this year’s awards.

Mastercard Album

  • Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams
  • Celeste – Not Your Muse
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • J Hus – Big Conspiracy
  • Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

Female Solo Artist

  • Arlo Parks
  • Celeste
  • Dua Lipa
  • Jessie Ware
  • Lianne La Havas

Male Solo Artist

  • AJ Tracey
  • Headie One
  • J Hus
  • Joel Corry
  • Yungblud

British Group

  • Bicep
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Little Mix
  • The 1975
  • Young T & Bugsey

Breakthrough Artist

  • Arlo Parks
  • Bicep
  • Celeste
  • Joel Corry
  • Young T & Bugsey

British Single with Mastercard

  • 220 Kid & GRACEY – Don’t Need Love
  • Aitch & AJ Tracey feat. Tay Keith – Rain
  • Dua Lipa – Physical
  • Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
  • Headie One feat. AJ Tracey and Stormzy – Ain’t It Different
  • Joel Corry feat. MNEK – Head & Heart
  • Nathan Dawe feat. KSI – Lighter
  • Regard & RAYE – Secrets
  • S1MBA feat. DTG – Rover
  • Young T & Bugsey feat. Headie One – Don’t Rush

International Female Solo Artist

  • Ariana Grande
  • Billie Eilish
  • Cardi B
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Taylor Swift

International Male Solo Artist

  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Burna Boy
  • Childish Gambino
  • Tame Impala
  • The Weeknd

International Group

  • BTS
  • Fontaines D.C.
  • Foo Fighters
  • HAIM
  • Run The Jewels

BRITs Rising Star

  • Griff
  • Pa Salieu
  • Rina Sawayama

The winner in this category is already confirmed to be Griff.

Rule changes this year mean that for the first time, you no longer need to have released an album in the preceding year in order to be nominated. The downside to this is a lot of Joel Corry, whose face (which looked as though it had to be either very airbrushed or the result of a lot of cosmetic surgery) turned up on a lot of social media advertising last year, but whose music I think I have yet to hear.

You can see the full list of nominees here.

Finally, it’s worth pausing for a moment to mention diversity (or the lack thereof) at the BRIT Awards. As you may or may not have noticed, this blog’s coverage of recent ceremonies has been limited in the extreme, and so the drama of the actual awards has entirely passed me by. That means I missed The 1975‘s raising of a very valid point about the male bias of 2019‘s ceremony, which, to their credit, the BRIT Awards’ twitter account made no attempt to whitewash. Even way back in 2016, I missed the criticism of the nominees and winners being skewed towards white artists. I sincerely apologise for missing both of these – however limited the coverage is on this blog, I should have known about them and have given them coverage here. The Guardian, at least, makes the point that this year’s event looks a little more promising in terms of diversity, so hopefully the tide is turning now.

NME Awards 2020

For reasons that I don’t entirely remember, NME decided to take the year off from their awards ceremony in 2019, so returned on 12 February 2020, just weeks before the lockdown started in the UK. Due to other commitments, we didn’t manage to cover it here at the time, so here we are, a year late! The ceremony was held at the O2 Academy Brixton, a year ago last week.

Godlike Genius

Winner: Emily Eavis

Best British Album

Nominees:

  • FKA twigs – Magdalene
  • Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Pt. 1
  • Little Simz – GREY Area
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
  • Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

Winner: Little Simz

Best Album in the World

Nominees:

  • Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • FKA twigs Magdalene
  • Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Pt. 1
  • Lana del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
  • Little Simz – GREY Area
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
  • Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
  • Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
  • Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs
  • Tyler, the Creator – IGOR

Winner: Lana del Rey

Best British Song

Nominees:

  • AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
  • Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
  • Georgia – About Work the Dancefloor
  • Mura Masa feat. Slowthai – Deal Wiv It
  • The 1975 – People

Winner: AJ Tracey

Best Song in the World

Nominees:

  • AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
  • Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
  • Clairo – Bags
  • Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
  • Georgia – About Work the Dancefloor
  • Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Remix)
  • Lizzo – Juice
  • Mura Masa feat. Slowthai – Deal Wiv It
  • Post Malone – Circles
  • The 1975 – People

Winner: Billie Eilish

Best British Solo Act

Nominees:

  • AJ Tracey
  • Charli XCX
  • FKA twigs
  • Slowthai
  • Yungblud

Winner: FKA twigs

Best Solo Act in the World

Nominees:

  • AJ Tracey
  • Beck
  • Billie Eilish
  • Charli XCX
  • FKA twigs
  • Lana del Rey
  • Lizzo
  • Slowthai
  • Taylor Swift
  • Yungblud

Winner: Taylor Swift

Best British Band: Supported by Pizza Express

Nominees:

  • Bring Me The Horizon
  • IDLES
  • Krept & Konan
  • The 1975
  • The Big Moon

Winner: The 1975

Best Band in the World

Nominees:

  • Bring Me the Horizon
  • Brockhampton
  • BTS
  • HAIM
  • IDLES
  • Krept & Konan
  • Slipknot
  • Tame Impala
  • The 1975
  • The Big Moon

Winner: Slipknot

Best New British Act: Supported by Nordoff Robbins

Nominees:

  • Celeste
  • D-Block Europe
  • Easy Life
  • Jade Bird
  • Sam Fender

Winner: Easy Life

Best New Act in the World

Nominees:

  • Celeste
  • Clairo
  • D-Block Europe
  • DaBaby
  • Dominic Fike
  • Easy Life
  • Fontaines DC
  • Girl In Red
  • Jade Bird
  • Sam Fender

Winner: Clairo

Best Live Act: Supported by Copper Dog Whiskey

Nominees:

  • Amyl + The Sniffers
  • Foals
  • Iggy Pop
  • Lizzo
  • Slowthai

Winner: Foals

Best Collaboration

Nominees:

  • BTS + Halsey
  • Charli XCX + Christine and the Queens
  • Megan Thee Stallion + DaBaby
  • Slowthai + Mura Masa
  • Yungblud + Dan Reynolds

Winner: Slowthai + Mura Masa

Best Music Video

Nominees:

  • Brockhampton – I Been Born Again
  • Easy Life – Nice Guys
  • Normani – Motivation
  • Stormzy – Vossi Bop
  • Yungblud – Original Me

Winner: Yungblud

Best British Festival

Nominees:

  • All Points East
  • Glastonbury
  • Parklife
  • Reading & Leeds
  • Wireless

Winner: Glastonbury

Best Small Festival: Supported by Cano Water

Nominees:

  • Bluedot
  • End of the Road
  • Iceland Airwaves
  • Kendal Calling
  • Øya

Winner: End of the Road

Best Festival in the World

Nominees:

  • All Points East
  • Coachella
  • Fuji Rock
  • Glastonbury
  • Mad Cool
  • Parklife
  • Reading & Leeds
  • Rock In Rio
  • Sziget
  • Wireless

Winner: Glastonbury

Best Festival Headliner

Nominees:

  • Cardi B
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Stormzy
  • The 1975
  • The Cure

Winner: The Cure

Best Film

Nominees:

  • Blue Story
  • Hustlers
  • Joker
  • Midsommar
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Winner: Blue Story

Best Film Actor

Nominees:

  • Florence Pugh
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Micheal Ward
  • Taron Egerton

Winner: Taron Egerton

Best TV Show: Supported by 19 Crimes

Nominees:

  • The End of the Fucking World
  • Fleabag
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Stranger Things
  • Top Boy

Winner: Peaky Blinders

Best TV Actor

Nominees:

  • Asa Butterfield
  • Jessica Barden
  • Jodie Comer
  • Kano
  • Zendaya

Winner: Jessica Barden

Best Music Film

Nominees:

  • Beyoncé – Homecoming
  • BTS – Bring the Soul
  • Liam Gallagher – As It Was
  • Michael Hutchence – Mystify
  • Rocketman

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Best Book

Billed as ‘Best Book’ by NME themselves, the name was corrected by some online to ‘Best Music Book’. Nominees:

  • Brett Anderson – Afternoons with the Blinds Drawn
  • Debbie Harry – Face It: A Memoir
  • Elton John – Me
  • Prince – The Beautiful Ones
  • Tegan & Sara – High School

Winner: Debbie Harry

Best Reissue

Nominees:

  • Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace
  • Muse – Origin of Muse
  • Prince – 1999
  • R.E.M. – Monster 25
  • The Beatles – Abbey Road

Winner: Muse

Best Podcast: Supported by Dax

Nominees:

  • Have You Heard George’s Podcast?
  • My Dad Wrote A Porno
  • Sex Power Money
  • Stay Free: The Story of The Clash
  • The Missing Cryptoqueen

Winner: Have You Heard George’s Podcast?

Best Game

Nominees:

  • Death Stranding
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • The Outer Worlds

Winner: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Songwriter of the Decade

Winner: Robyn

Band of the Decade

Winner: The 1975

Under the Radar Award

Winner: Beabadoobee

NME Icon

Winner: Courtney Love

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

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.