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.

Ivor Novello Awards 2020

Postponed due to the pandemic, the 2020 Ivor Novello Awards were due to happen on 2nd September at Grosvenor House in London, but were subsequently cancelled altogether, with the winners announced virtually instead. These are the songwriters’ awards, and also aren’t particularly commercially-driven, so can often be much more interesting than other ceremonies in terms of the people who are celebrated.

Best Album

  • Ghosteen, written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Grey Area, written by Inflo and Little Simz, performed by Little Simz
  • The Book of Traps and Lessons, written by Dan Carey and Kate Tempest, performed by Kate Tempest

Winner: Inflo and Little Simz

Best Contemporary Song

  • Black, written by Dave and Fraser T Smith, performed by Dave
  • Firesmoke, written by Dan Carey and Kate Tempest, performed by Kate Tempest
  • Must Be, written by JAE5 and J Hus, performed by J Hus

Winner: Dave and Fraser T Smith

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

  • Age of Anxiety, written and performed by Jamie Cullum
  • Crown, written by MJ Cole, Jimmy Napes and Stormzy; performed by Stormzy
  • Dead Boys, written and performed by Sam Fender

Winner: Jamie Cullum

Best Original Film Score

  • For Sama, composed by Nainita Desai
  • Midsommar, composed by Bobby Krlic
  • Monos, composed by Mica Levi

Winner: Bobby Krlic

Best Original Video Game Score

  • Arise: A Simple Story, composed by David Garcia Diaz
  • Draugen, composed by Simon Poole
  • Lost Ember, composed by Dorian Behner, John Broomhall and Will Morton

Winner: Simon Poole

Best TV Soundtrack

  • Euphoria, composed by Labrinth
  • Rise of the Nazis, composed by Tom Hodge
  • The Crown (Series 3), composed by Martin Phipps

Winner: Labrinth

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

  • Dancing with a Stranger, written by Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith, performed by Sam Smith and Normani
  • Giant, written by Calvin Harris, Jamie Hartman, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Troy Miller, performed by Calvin Harris and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  • Hold Me While You Wait, written by Lewis Capaldi, Jamie N Commons and Jamie Hartman; performed by Lewis Capaldi

Winner: Calvin Harris, Jamie Hartman, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Troy Miller

Rising Star Award with Apple Music

  • Amahla
  • Carmel Smickersgill
  • Griff
  • lullahush
  • Mysie

Winner: Mysie

Songwriter of the Year

Winner: Steve Mac

Academy Fellowship

Winner: Joan Armatrading