BRIT Award Losers

A number of enormous artists have never won a BRIT, and some have even been tantalisingly nominated a large number of times. Here’s a list of some of the biggest:

Bob Dylan

As with many of the artists on this list, he had completed much of his career prior to the start of the BRITs, and also as an “international” artist he was never going to be quite so favoured, but he’s still received surprisingly few nominations.

Nominated in 2002 for Best International Male Solo Artist, and in 2007 for the same award and also Best International Album for Modern Times.


Despite being pretty enormous, they have remained almost entirely unrecognised by the BRITs. Nominated in 2002 for Best British Newcomer, Best British Dance Act, Best British Single, and Best British Video (the latter two for Clint Eastwood), then in 2006 for Best British Group and Best British Album for Demon Days, and most recently in 2011 for Best British Group. Each was won by someone else.

PJ Harvey

One of the BRITs’ regulars for the Best British Female award, alongside Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox (nominated in 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2008), she has never actually managed to win. Also nominated in 2012 for Best British Album for Let England Strike.


Despite being very active during the early years of the BRITs, they managed just three nominations – Best British Group in 1982 and 1984, and Best British Album for Complete Madness in 1983.

Pink Floyd

Nominated just four times – twice for Best British Group, and twice for Best British Album. The first pair was in 1977, for Dark Side of the Moon, and the second in 1995 for The Division Bell. None won.


Surprisingly nominated only four times too, all in 1996 – for Best British Group, Best British Album for Different Class, Best British Single for Common People, and Best British Video, also for Common People.

Rolling Stones

Nominated a paltry three times – in 1977 for Best British Group, in 1995 for Best British Video for Love is Strong, and again in 1996 for Like a Rolling Stone.

Bruce Springsteen

Nominated for the Best International Male Solo Artist award eight times – in 1985, 1987, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011. With no wins, and no other nominations.

Tina Turner

Nominated in 1986, 1990, 1991, and 1994 for Best International Female Solo Artist, plus in 1977 for Best International Pop Single for River Deep, Mountain High, and in 1990 for Best Video for Simply the Best. Again, none of them won.

Stevie Wonder

Not only has Stevie Wonder never Won; he’s barely even managed any nominations. In 1985 he snuck a nomination in for The Woman in Red with Dionne Warwick, in the Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording category. In 2010, he was nominated for a BRITs Hits 30, in duet with Annie Lennox on There Must Be An Angel (Playing with My Heart). In fact, he has managed just two nominations: Best International Pop Album in 1977 for Songs in the Key of Life, and Best International Solo Artist in 1986.

The Top Three

Three artists have been nominated an astonishing number of times, and have also managed to fail an astonishing number of times.

  1. Radiohead – nominated 15 times
  2. Jamiroquai – nominated 14 times
  3. Craig David – nominated 13 times

It was probably Bo Selecta‘s fault.

Q Awards Winners 1990-2012 (Part One)

Having worked our way through the 1990s, it’s time to come straight up to speed with a look at all of the winners of the Q Awards. There are a lot of them, so I’ve split the list into two parts…

Best Single and Video Awards

After a decade or so of only caring about albums, Q Magazine finally took an interest in singles in 1998, with videos following a couple of years later. Unlike other award ceremonies, they still care.

Best Single / Best Track

  • 1998 – Catatonia – Road Rage
  • 1999 – Travis – Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
  • 2000 – David Gray – Babylon
  • 2001 – Ash – Burn Baby Burn
  • 2002 – Sugababes – Freak Like Me
  • 2003 – Christina Aguilera – Dirrty
  • 2004 – Jamelia – See it in a Boy’s Eyes
  • 2005 – KT Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
  • 2006 – Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
  • 2007 – Manic Street Preachers – Your Love Alone is Not Enough
  • 2008 – Keane – Spiralling
  • 2009 – Lily Allen – The Fear
  • 2010 – Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got the Love
  • 2011 – Adele – Rolling in the Deep
  • 2012 – Plan B – Ill Manors

Q Classic Song

  • 2005 – Ray Davies – Waterloo Sunset
  • 2006 – Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
  • 2007 – Stereophonics – Local Boy in the Photograph
  • 2008 – Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
  • 2009 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • 2011 – Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
  • 2012 – Dionne Warwick – Walk on By

Best Video

  • 2000 – Kelis – Caught Out There
  • 2001 – Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood
  • 2002 – Pink – Get the Party Started
  • 2003 – Electric Six – Gay Bar
  • 2004 – Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
  • 2005 – Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
  • 2006 – The Killers – When You Were Young
  • 2007 – Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
  • 2008 – Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
  • 2009 – Lady Gaga – Just Dance
  • 2010 – Chase & Status – End Credits
  • 2011 – Jessie J – Do it Like a Dude
  • 2012 – Keane – Disconnected

Best Album Awards

The Best Album award is one of the few original awards, and seems to tend to go to the top indie album every year…

Best Album

  • 1990 – World Party – Goodbye Jumbo
  • 1991 – R.E.M. – Out of Time
  • 1992 – R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
  • 1993 – Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
  • 1994 – Blur – Parklife
  • 1995 – Blur – The Great Escape
  • 1996 – Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
  • 1997 – Radiohead – OK Computer
  • 1998 – Massive Attack – Mezzanine
  • 1999 – The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
  • 2000 – Coldplay – Parachutes
  • 2001 – Travis – The Invisible Band
  • 2002 – Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • 2003 – Blur – Think Tank
  • 2004 – Keane – Hopes and Fears
  • 2005 – Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2007 – Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
  • 2008 – Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
  • 2009 – Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  • 2010 – The National – High Violet
  • 2011 – Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  • 2012 – Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • 1990 – Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  • 1992 – Bob Marley – Songs of Freedom
  • 1993 – Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
  • 1994 – Various Artists – Tougher Than Tough
  • 1995 – Various Artists – Help
  • 1996 – The Beatles – Anthology
  • 1997 – Various Artists – The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers

classic album award

  • 2007 – The Verve – Urban Hymns
  • 2009 – U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
  • 2010 – Wings – Band on the Run
  • 2012 – Manic Street Preachers – Generation Terrorists

One-Off and Occasional Awards

Just in case there wasn’t a way to squeeze U2 into the standard award ceremony, Q have periodically added new ones especially for the Irish four-piece.

Special Award / Q Special Award

  • 1997 – Phil Spector
  • 2001 – Brian Eno
  • 2003 – Scott Walker
  • 2005 – John Lennon

Q People’s Choice Award

  • 2001 – U2
  • 2005 – Oasis
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys

Q Unwanted

  • 2002 – Simon Cowell

Q Birthday Honour

  • 2005 – Michael Eavis

Q Outstanding Performance Award

  • 2006 – Faithless

Q Award of Awards

  • 2006 – U2

Q Groundbreaker Award

  • 2006 – Primal Scream

Q Charity of the Year

  • 2006 – War on Want


  • 2007 – Anthony H. Wilson
  • 2010 – The Chemical Brothers
  • 2012 – Johnny Marr

Q’s Greatest Act of the Last 25 Years

  • 2011 – U2

Q Spirit of Independence

  • 2012 – The Cribs

More next week…

The BPI Awards 1985

As promised, today we start our journey through the BRIT Awards ceremonies of the past. We begin way back on 11th February 1985 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, where Noel Edmonds is introducing the BPI Awards 1985:

The year we’re celebrating, 1984, is, as we now know, one of the most important years in electronic pop music. This ceremony is also among the best documented of any of them. But having seen what we’ve seen in recent years, this is a fascinatingly corporate affair. As we’ll see Edmonds, the James Cordon of his day, does a great job, but the show is almost entirely lacking in glitz, glamour, or indeed Mr. Blobby. As he says, there were fourteen awards altogether, so based on various online sources here’s my relatively complete record of the 1985 ceremony.

Best British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Sting. Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Alison Moyet
  • Sade
  • Tracey Ullman
  • Kim Wilde

Winner: Alison Moyet.

Best British Album

Presented by Pete Townsend, somewhat the worse for wear. I’m not sure what Noel means when he says “he was the recipient of a special award” – in a previous year perhaps? Anyway, nominees:

  • Sade – Diamond Life
  • Nik Kershaw – Human Racing
  • U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
  • Queen – The Works
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome

In subsequent years, U2 would be forced into the International categories, so it’s strange that they were nominated here, but there we go.

Winner: Sade.

Best Classical Recording

Presented by Richard Baker out of The 1930s. Nominees:

  • Arnold Bax Symphony No. 4 – Ulster Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson
  • Britten’s The Turn of the Screw – Royal Opera House Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis
  • Mozart’s The Magic Flute – Rundfunkchor Leipzig and Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Sir Colin Davis
  • Verdi’s Il Travatore – Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini
  • Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – The Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood

Winner: Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons.

Best British Group

Presented by Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo, who at the time had recently given up touring apparently. Before starting again a couple of years later. Nominees:

  • Bronski Beat
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Queen
  • U2
  • Wham!

Winner: Wham!

Best British Producer

Presented by George Martin. Nominees:

  • Peter Collins
  • Steve Jolley and Tony Swain
  • Laurie Latham
  • Steve Lillywhite
  • Trevor Horn

Apparently it’s about time he won it for the third time running. Winner: Trevor Horn, who seems to have attended with an animal on his head.

Best British Single

Frankie Goes to Hollywood stood a pretty good chance of winning this one. Nominees:

  • Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes
  • George Michael – Careless Whisper
  • Sade – Smooth Operator

Winner: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax.

Best British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Toyah Willcox. Nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Howard Jones
  • Nik Kershaw
  • Paul McCartney
  • Paul Young

Unfortunately I can’t work out how to embed this video, but you can watch it in full here.

The winner is, of course, Paul Young.

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige. Nominees:

  • Electric Dreams (various artists)
  • Footloose (various artists)
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street (Paul McCartney)
  • Purple Rain (Prince and the Revolution)
  • The Woman in Red (Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick)

Winner: Purple Rain.

Best International Artist

Presented by a rather confused Holly Johnson out of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Nominees:

  • Michael Jackson
  • Prince and the Revolution
  • Lionel Richie
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • ZZ Top

Winner: a decidedly bemused Prince, but without The Revolution in tow.

Radio 1 Best British Newcomer

Presented by Steve Wright in the afternoon.

Make sure you pay attention to Steve’s advice to stop taping records off the radio. As he says, it’s very, very naughty. Also in a fascinatingly off-colour joke, we learn that apparently Michael Jackson isn’t gay.

Winner: Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Remember, Relax was banned on BBC Radio 1, so I’m particularly intrigued that their listeners would have voted for them in such numbers!

Runners up: Nik Kershaw (second place), Bronski Beat (third place).

Best Comedy Recording

Presented by “windswept and interesting” Billy Connolly. Nominees:

  • Wierd Al Yankovic – Eat It
  • Neil (The Young Ones) – Hole in My Shoe
  • Roland Rat – Rat Rapping
  • Mel Brooks – To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)
  • Alexei Sayle – Ullo John Got a New Motor

Winner: Neil from The Young Ones.

Best British Video

Although the strategy of getting nominated multiple times wasn’t quite as successful for Wham! in the video category. Nominees:

  • Duran Duran – Wild Boys
  • Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
  • Wham! – Last Christmas

Winner: Duran Duran.

Outstanding Contribution

Winner: The Police.

Special Award

A special award was given to Bob Geldof and Midge Ure for their work on the Band Aid single.


Just the introductions, I’m afraid…

  • Alison Moyet – All Cried Out
  • Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
  • Howard Jones – What is Love?
  • Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t it Be Good
  • Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do with It

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: by strange coincidence The Guardian decided to celebrate the same ceremony by publishing Neil Tennant‘s review from Smash Hits, which you can read here. Thanks to daveid on the Pet Shop Boys forum for spotting this one.

Edit: removed two videos that are no longer available (13 August 2017).

Q Awards 2012

In a world of disappearing music magazines, it’s perhaps surprising that Q is still running. Not having read it for about a decade, I’ve no idea, but it used to be pretty good – they always had a wonderfully flippant attitude and open-minded review section. I wonder if that’s still true…

Anyway, their award ceremony is still going, and happened last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, hosted by pub landlord Al Murray, with lots of awards with almost identical names. The full list of nominations and winners follow.

Q Best New Act presented by Merc

Actually presented by Nick Grimshaw. Nominees:

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Alt-J
  • Django Django
  • Lianne La Havas
  • Frank Ocean

Winner: Django Django.

Q Best Track presented by Q Radio

Presented by Chas Smash out of Madness and his daughter. Nominees:

  • Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out
  • Fun – We Are Young
  • Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
  • Plan B – Ill Manors
  • Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump

Winner: Plan B.

Q Best Album presented by Red Stag by Jim Beam

Actually presented by Example. Nominees:

  • The Black Keys – El Camino
  • Richard Hawley – Standing At The Sky’s Edge
  • The Maccabees – Given To The Wild
  • Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks
  • Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

Winner: Bobby Womack.

Q Best Live Act presented by Zeo

Presented by The Horrors. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • The Cribs
  • Radiohead
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • The Stone Roses

Winner: Blur.

Q Best Video presented by Café de Paris


  • Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Everybody’s On The Run
  • Keane – Disconnected
  • The Killers – Runaways
  • Nicki Minaj – Starships

Winner: Keane.

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Citroen


  • Adele
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Noel Gallagher
  • Emeli Sandé
  • Florence Welch

Winner: Emeli Sandé.

Q Best Act In The World Today

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Coldplay
  • Lady Gaga
  • Muse
  • The Stone Roses

Winner: Muse.

Q Classic Song

Presented by Tim Burgess.

Winner: Dionne Warwick – Walk on By.

Q Idol

Presented by the original Sugababes, although that may not be what they’re called at the moment.

Winner: Brandon Flowers out of The Killers.

Q Spirit of Independence

Presented by Matt Berry and Rachel Riley.

Winner: The Cribs.

Q Innovation in Sound presented by Beats By Dr Dre

Presented by Danny Boyle.

Winner: Underworld.

Q Inspiration Award

Presented by Mrs. John Peel Sheila Ravenscroft and Richard Herring off of the 1990s.

Winner: Pulp.

Q Icon Award

Presented by Geno Washington.

Winner: Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Fascinating beard.

Q Classic Album

Presented by Alice Cooper.

Winner: Manic Street Preachers – Generation Terrorists.

Q Hero

Winner: Johnny Marr.

Further Reading / Viewing