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.

Q Awards 2019

I’m still reeling from the news that Q Magazine is no longer with us, but it seems a fair assumption that the Q Awards probably won’t happen again any time soon. Tickets are still on sale for the event on 14th October 2020, at an eye-watering £999 per person, so let’s hope I’m wrong about that, but either way, I never got around to summarising last Autumn’s Q Awards ceremony, so let’s jump onto it now.

The 2019 event took place at N on N, and were presented by Nadine Shah.

Q Best Breakthrough Act Presented by Red Stripe

Nominees:

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Gerry Cinnamon
  • Easy Life
  • Sam Fender
  • Fontaines DC
  • Little Simz
  • Pale Waves
  • Rosalía
  • Self Esteem
  • Slowthai
  • AJ Tracey
  • Working Men’s Club

Winner: Pale Waves

Q Best Track Presented by Absolute Radio

Nominees:

  • Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
  • Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
  • FKA Twigs – Cellophane
  • JARV IS – Must I Evolve
  • Lizzo – Juice
  • Róisín Murphy – Incapable
  • The 1975 – People
  • AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
  • Stormzy – Vossi Bop
  • Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall

Winner: Lewis Capaldi

Q Best Album

Nominees:

  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
  • Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • Fat White Family – Serfs Up
  • Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1)
  • Little Simz – Grey Area
  • The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  • Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive
  • Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
  • Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Winner: Foals

Q Best Live Performance Presented by The Cavern Club

Nominees:

  • The Courteeners – Heaton Park
  • Doves – TCT at Royal Albert Hall
  • Florence & The Machine – BST Hyde Park
  • Ariana Grande – The O2
  • Michael Kiwanuka – End of the Road
  • The 1975 – Reading Festival
  • Stormzy – Glastonbury
  • The Streets – Brixton Academy
  • The Strokes – All Points East
  • Neil Young & Bob Dylan – BST Hyde Park

Winner: Michael Kiwanuka

Q Best Solo Act

Nominees:

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Loyle Carner
  • Dave
  • Billie Eilish
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Aldous Harding
  • Kano
  • Stormzy
  • Kate Tempest
  • Florence Welch

Winner: Stormzy

Q Best Act In The World Today Presented by Rocksteady Music School

Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Billie Eilish
  • Florence And The Machine
  • Liam Gallagher
  • The 1975
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Stormzy

Winner: The 1975

Q Best Festival/Event

Nominees:

  • All Points East
  • British Summer Time
  • Glastonbury
  • Isle of Wight Festival
  • Latitude
  • Reading and Leeds Festival

Winner: All Points East

Q Innovation In Sound

Winner: Dizzie Rascal

Q Classic Album

Winner: Tricky, for Maxinquaye

Q Maverick Presented by The Roundhouse

Winner: Edwyn Collins

Fender Play Award

Winner: Anna Calvi

Q Outstanding Contribution To Music

Winner: Kano

Q Classic Songwriter

Winner: Kevin Rowland

Q Inspiration

Winner: Madness

Q Icon Presented by Raymond Weil

Winner: Christine and the Queens

Q Hero

Winner: Kim Gordon

Q Song Of The Decade

Winner: Lana Del Rey, for Video Games

Q Best Vocal Performance

Winner: Little Simz

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.