Mercury Prize 2017 – Nominations

The timing of the Mercury Prize seems to be very unpredictable these days, but they’re slowly edging themselves back to the summer time. This year’s nominees appeared last week, and look a lot like this:

  • Alt-J – Relaxer
  • The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
  • Blossoms – Blossoms
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • Dinosaur – Together, As One
  • Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Sampha – Process
  • Ed Sheeran – ÷
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  • The xx – I See You

BRIT Awards 2017

This is one of those all-too-common posts where you probably know more about the subject than I do, but I still feel as though we should pay some lip service to the fortieth anniversary BRIT Awards!

This year’s ceremony was the 37th altogether, and celebrated many late geniuses, with statuette designed by Zaha Hadid, a tribute to George Michael, and several wins for David Bowie. It took place at The O2 in London on 22nd February, and was hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis, who stepped in for Michael Bublé at the last minute.

Performances at the show came from Little MixBruno MarsEmeli SandéThe 1975Chris MartinKaty Perry and Skip MarleyThe Chainsmokers and Coldplay, Ed Sheeran feat. Stormzy, and Robbie Williams.

British Artist Video

Presented by Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger. The nominees:

  • Adele – Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
  • James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
  • Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Rockabye
  • Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
  • Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
  • Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – Fast Car
  • Little Mix feat. Sean Paul – Hair
  • One Direction – History
  • Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson – Girls Like
  • Zayn – Pillowtalk

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora. The nominees:

  • Anne-Marie
  • Blossoms
  • Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  • Skepta
  • Stormzy

The winner: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

Critics’ Choice Award

Presented by Emeli Sandé. The nominees:

  • Anne-Marie
  • Dua Lipa
  • Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

The winner: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, which surely must be cheating?

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Presented by Noel Gallagher. The nominees:

  • Davie Bowie – Blackstar
  • Kano – Made in the Manor
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  • The 1975 – i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
  • Skepta – Konnichiwa

The winner: David Bowie

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by David Tennant. The nominees:

  • Anohni
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Lianne La Havas
  • Nao
  • Emeli Sandé

The winner: Emeli Sandé

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Zane Lowe. The nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Craig David
  • Kano
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Skepta

The winner: David Bowie

British Group

Presented by Maisie Williams and Romesh Ranganathan. The nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Little Mix
  • The 1975
  • Radiohead

The winner: The 1975

British Single

Presented by Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby. The nominees:

  • James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
  • Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own
  • Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Rockabye
  • Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
  • Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
  • Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – Fast Car
  • Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
  • Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson – Girls Like
  • Alan Walker – Faded
  • Zayn – Pillowtalk

Winner: Little Mix

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, and Laura Jackson. The nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Rihanna
  • Sia
  • Solange

The winner: Beyoncé

International Male Solo Artist

Also, presented by Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, and Laura Jackson. The nominees:

  • Bon Iver
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Drake
  • Bruno Mars
  • The Weeknd

The winner: Drake

International Group

Since they were still around, this was also presented by Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, and Laura Jackson. The nominees:

  • Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
  • Drake & Future
  • Kings of Leon
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Twenty One Pilots

The winner: A Tribe Called Quest

BRITs Global Success

Presented by Naomi Campbell and Jonathan Ross

The winner: Adele

BRITs Icon Award

Because this is getting like the Q Awards with its multitude of identically-named awards. Presented by Take That.

Winner: Robbie Williams. Which I can’t help but feel reflects his success at the BRITs more than it does his performance generally, but well done to him anyway!

The BRIT Awards 2016

Quite rightly, you were very excited about the BRIT Awards this year, and you flocked in your hundreds to read my latest selection of The Best of the BRIT Awards. What I wasn’t able to do, mainly due to being on holiday, was list the winners for you. So here goes…

British Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Aphex Twin
  • James Bay
  • Calvin Harris
  • Mark Ronson
  • Jamie xx

Winner: James Bay

British Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Adele
  • Florence + The Machine
  • Jess Glynne
  • Laura Marling
  • Amy Winehouse

Winner: Adele

British Group

  • Blur
  • Coldplay
  • Foals
  • One Direction
  • Years & Years

Winner: Coldplay

British Breakthrough Act

  • James Bay
  • Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Jess Glynne
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Winner: Catfish and the Bottlemen

British Producer of the Year

  • Charlie Andrew
  • Mike Crossey
  • Tom Dalgety
  • Mark Ronson

Winner: Charlie Andrew

British Single

  • Adele – Hello
  • James Bay – Hold Back the River
  • Philip George – Wish You Were Mine
  • Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
  • Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
  • Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love
  • Olly Murs feat. Demi Lovato – Up
  • Ed Sheeran & Rudimental – Bloodstream
  • Years & Years – King

Winner: Adele

Mastercard British Album of the Year

  • Adele – 25
  • James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
  • Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Jamie xx – In Colour

Winner: Adele

British Artist Video

  • Adele – Hello
  • Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love
  • Jessie J – Flashlight
  • Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Naughty Boy feat. Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin – Runnin’ (Lose it All)
  • One Direction – Drag Me Down
  • Ed Sheeran – Photograph
  • Sam Smith – Writing’s on the Wall
  • Years & Years – King

Winner: One Direction

International Male Solo Artist

  • Justin Bieber
  • Drake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Father John Misty
  • The Weeknd

Winner: Justin Bieber

International Female Solo Artist

  • Courtney Barnett
  • Björk
  • Ariana Grande
  • Lana del Rey
  • Meghan Trainor

Winner: Björk. Again.

International Group

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Eagles of Death Metal
  • Major Lazer
  • Tame Impala
  • U2

Winner: Tame Impala. I bet U2 were furious – they always win this award.

Critics’ Choice

  • Izzy Bizu
  • Frances
  • Jack Garratt

Winner: Jack Garratt

Global Success

A special made-up award for Adele, because she was robbed in the International Male Solo Artist category and was so upset.

Well, that’s it for another year. See you next January for the latest nominees in the ADELE Awards.

The BRIT Awards 2016 – Nominations

On the 24th of February this year, we’ll find out who has won a BRIT Award this year. Or more likely, who has won five, as that tends to be the way it goes. The nominations are spectacularly dull this year, as you’ll see below if you can bring yourself to keep reading – the only truly interesting thing is that they have changed some of the names this year…

British Artist Video

  • Adele – Hello
  • Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love
  • Jessie J – Flashlight
  • Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Naughty Boy feat. Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin – Runnin’ (Lose it All)
  • One Direction – Drag Me Down
  • Ed Sheeran – Photograph
  • Sam Smith – Writing’s on the Wall
  • Years & Years – King

British Breakthrough Act

  • James Bay
  • Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Jess Glynne
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

That’s the same James Bay who won the Critics’ Choice last year (beating Years & Years), both of whom did pretty well on the charts in 2015, after all.

British Male Solo Artist

  • Aphex Twin
  • James Bay
  • Calvin Harris
  • Mark Ronson
  • Jamie xx

British Female Solo Artist

  • Adele
  • Florence + The Machine
  • Jess Glynne
  • Laura Marling
  • Amy Winehouse

British Group

  • Blur
  • Coldplay
  • Foals
  • One Direction
  • Years & Years

British Producer of the Year

  • Charlie Andrew
  • Mike Crossey
  • Tom Dalgety
  • Mark Ronson

British Single

  • Adele – Hello
  • James Bay – Hold Back the River
  • Philip George – Wish You Were Mine
  • Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
  • Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
  • Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep is Your Love
  • Olly Murs feat. Demi Lovato – Up
  • Ed Sheeran & Rudimental – Bloodstream
  • Years & Years – King

Mastercard British Album of the Year

  • Adele – 25
  • James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
  • Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Jamie xx – In Colour

International Male Solo Artist

  • Justin Bieber
  • Drake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Father John Misty
  • The Weeknd

International Female Solo Artist

  • Courtney Barnett
  • Björk
  • Ariana Grande
  • Lana del Rey
  • Meghan Trainor

Björk, the only non-British female who anybody cares about (seemingly) receives her sixty-third nomination in this category.

International Group

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Eagles of Death Metal
  • Major Lazer
  • Tame Impala
  • U2

Oh look, U2 rack up their six thousandth nomination in this category. Because so few other foreign groups are popular in the UK, apparently. It’s a shame R.E.M. haven’t been up to much recently.

Critics’ Choice

  • Izzy Bizu
  • Frances
  • Jack Garratt

The winner of which will be Jack Garratt.

Anyway, good luck to Aphex Twin, who is inexplicably nominated for just the third time ever. Other than that, if you care about any of those nominees, you can vote for some of them at the BRIT Awards website.

Q Awards 2015

So, with only a couple of weeks’ delay, it’s time for us to examine the winners at this year’s Q Awards. Who won the Q Best New Act Who Turned Up in the World Today award, presented by Trebor Extra-Strong Mints? Let’s find out…

Q Best Act in the World Today presented by Queen Bohemian Lager

Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Foals
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Muse
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Foals

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Citroën

Nominees:

  • Noel Gallagher
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith
  • Taylor Swift
  • Kanye West

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Q Best New Act presented by Orange Amplification

Nominees:

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • The Bohicas
  • Circa Waves
  • Jess Glynne
  • Slaves
  • Soak
  • Songhoy Blues
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Winner: James Bay

Q Best Track presented by Absolute Radio

Nominees:

  • Florence + The Machine – What Kind of Man
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • The Libertines – Gunga Din
  • New Order – Restless
  • Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Winner: The Libertines

Q Best Album presented by JBL

Nominees:

  • Blur – The Magic Whip
  • Everything Everything – Get to Heaven
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
  • Jamie xx – In Colour

Winner: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Q Hero

Winner: Mark Ronson

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

Nominees:

  • Catfish & The Bottlemen
  • The Libertines
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Royal Blood

Q Classic Song

Winner: Queen, for Bohemian Rhapsody

Q Classic Album

Winner: Soul II Soul, for Club Classics Vol. One

Q Innovation in Sound presented by Sony Xperia

Winner: Gary Numan

Gibson Les Paul Award

Winner: Tony Iommi

Q Outstanding Contribution to Music

Winner: New Order

Q Icon

Winner: Duran Duran

Q Best Video

Nominees:

  • Florence + The Machine – Ship to Wreck
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • Miguel – Coffee
  • Muse – Psycho
  • The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face

Winner: Florence + The Machine

Nice to see Gary Numan, Duran Duran, and New Order all honoured in one go. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d see Duran Duran turn up in an “icon” category, but there you are. There’s plenty of excellent bonus coverage on the Q magazine website, including Stephen Morris of New Order pretending to be Alan Partridge, Gary Numan and ze Jean-Michel Jarre talking about their collaboration, and Father Christmas talking about his days in Queen.

Q Awards 2015 – Nominees

Apologies for the slight delay, but this year Q decided to drag their heels somewhat about releasing their nominations, so this post got a little lost in the meantime. As always, there will no doubt be a slew of additional awards with near-identical names on the night, but for now, here are the nominees for the 2015 Q Awards:

Q Best New Act presented by Orange Amplification

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • The Bohicas
  • Circa Waves
  • Jess Glynne
  • Slaves
  • Soak
  • Songhoy Blues
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Q Best Track presented by Absolute Radio

  • Florence + The Machine – What Kind of Man
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • The Libertines – Gunga Din
  • New Order – Restless
  • Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Q Best Video

  • Florence + The Machine – Ship to Wreck
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • Miguel – Coffee
  • Muse – Psycho
  • The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face

Q Best Album presented by JBL

  • Blur – The Magic Whip
  • Everything Everything – Get to Heaven
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
  • Jamie xx – In Colour

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

  • Catfish & The Bottlemen
  • The Libertines
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Citroën

  • Noel Gallagher
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith
  • Taylor Swift
  • Kanye West

Q Best Act in the World Today presented by Queen Bohemian Lager

  • Blur
  • Foals
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Muse
  • Ed Sheeran

Since their album only came out the week these nominations were announced, I’m not sure how much of a chance New Order actually have, but you should definitely vote for them in every available category. Which is just one category – pick whatever you want for everything else. The awards take place next week.

The BRIT Awards 2015

Closing Awards Week for this year (apart from a brief chart tomorrow) is our round-up of this year’s BRIT Award ceremony. The event took place on Wednesday night (the 25th) at the O2 Arena in London, and the hosts were Ant & Dec, for the first time since 2001.

Of course, the most exciting thing that happened was when Madonna fell down three stairs, but she bravely soldiered on, through a pretty lacklustre song. And Kanye West was the victim of a bit of censorship, while some of his naughty words escaped the censors, but I’m not entirely clear why we should care about either of these facts.

Anyway, here are the winners of the 2015 BRIT Awards. The first two awards were announced before the actual ceremony…

Critics’ Choice Award

Always an influential award, handed out a couple of months before the big night. Nominees:

  • James Bay
  • George The Poet
  • Years & Years

Winner: James Bay

British Producer

In association with The MPG Awards. Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood
  • Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory
  • Jake Gosling

Winner: Paul Epworth

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Rita Ora and Orlando Bloom. The nominees:

  • Damon Albarn
  • George Ezra
  • Paolo Nutini
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith

Winner: Ed Sheeran.

British Group

Presented by Jimmy Page. The nominees:

  • Alt-J
  • Clean Bandit
  • Coldplay
  • One Direction
  • Royal Blood

Winner: Royal Blood

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Lewis Hamilton and Ellie Goulding. Nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Lana del Rey
  • Sia
  • St. Vincent
  • Taylor Swift

Winner: Taylor Swift

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Mark Ronson. Nominees:

  • Lily Allen
  • Paloma Faith
  • FKA twigs
  • Ella Henderson
  • Jessie Ware

Winner: Paloma Faith, who went on forever about floors for some reason

Global Success Award

The British artist whose global releases sold the most outside the UK. Presented by Kim Kardashian-West. What’s up, London?

Winner: Sam Smith

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Cara Delevigne. Nominees:

  • Beck
  • Hozier
  • John Legend
  • Jack White
  • Pharrell Williams

Winner: Pharrell Williams

British Single

Presented by Lisa Snowden and Lionel Richie. Nominees:

  • Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • Ella Henderson – Ghost
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me

Winner: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

International Group

Presented by John Bishop. Nominees:

  • The Black Keys
  • First Aid Kit
  • Foo Fighters
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • The War on Drugs

Winner: Foo Fighters

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Fearne Cotton and Charli XCX. Nominees:

  • Chvrches
  • FKA twigs
  • George Ezra
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith

Winner: Sam Smith

British Artist Video of the Year

Yes, that’s the confusing name for the Best Video award now. Voted for using tweets, which is novel. They started with the ten most viewed videos on YouTube, apparently:

  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • One Direction – You and I
  • Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me
  • Charli XCX – Boom Clap

The final shortlist of five, presented by the tiny Jimmy Carr and the enormous

  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • One Direction – You and I
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me

Winner: One Direction, accepted by Simon Cowell

MasterCard British Album

The award that, in the absence of an Outstanding Contribution award, is considered the biggie. Supported by The Sun’s Bizarre column. Presented by Russell Crowe from off of Neighbours.

  • Alt-J – This is All Yours
  • George Ezra – Wanted on Voyage
  • Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran – X
  • Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Performances

  • Taylor Swift – Blank Space
  • Sam Smith – Lay Me Down
  • Royal Blood – Figure it Out
  • Ed Sheeran – Bloodstream
  • Kanye West – All Day
  • Take That – Let in the Sun
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
  • Madonna – Living for Love