With four nominations, the Darkness lead the field for the 2004 Brit Awards, to be held Feb. 17 at Earls Court in London. The band is up for best British group, rock act, British breakthrough act and

With four nominations, the Darkness lead the field for the 2004 Brit Awards, to be held Feb. 17 at Earls Court in London. The band is up for best British group, rock act, British breakthrough act and album for "Permission to Land" (Must Destroy/Warner Music).

Dido, Dizzee Rascal, Daniel Bedingfield, and Busted each have three nominations; Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera each have three nods in the international categories.

The nominations were announced at a launch party yesterday in London that featured live performances by nominees Busted, Amy Winehouse and Goldfrapp.

--Lars Brandle, London