With four nominations each, Coldplay and Duffy lead the field for the BRIT Awards 2009, announced today (Jan. 20) at London's Roundhouse. Adele, Elbow and Scouting For Girls scored three nominations apiece.
The latter British trio was one of three acts to perform live at the nominations event, treating audiences with an acoustic rendition of "Heartbeat" as well as a full band version of "She's So Lovely."
"It's absolutely amazing to be nominated," Scouting For Girls bassist Greg Churchouse told Billboard.biz at the event. "It will be wicked going to our first BRIT Awards [in February]. We actually got signed the night of the BRITs a couple of years ago, so we only had time for a quick lunch with the record label before they bailed to go to the show without us."
Australian songstress Gabriella Cilmi belted out a funk rock version of her hit "Sweet About Me," inserting some lyrics from fellow nominees Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire." Newcomer Florence and the Machine also performed. She is due to win the second Critics' Choice award (chosen by a media panel), which was given last year to Adele.
Coldplay's four nods follow the group's seven nominations for the 2009 Grammys, in recognition of the multi-million-selling "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," while Duffy's are for her debut album "Rockferry," the U.K.'s best-seller of 2008.
Both sets are nominated for best British album, competing against Elbow's "The Seldom Seen Kid," Radiohead's "In Rainbows" and the Ting Tings' "We Started Nothing." Coldplay is also up for best British group (alongside Elbow, Girls Aloud, Radiohead and Take That), British single for "Viva La Vida" and British live act (up against Elbow, Iron Maiden, Scouting For Girls and the Verve).
Duffy is nominated as British female solo act, competing with Adele, Beth Rowley, Estelle and M.I.A.; British breakthrough act, with Adele, Last Shadow Puppets, Scouting For Girls and the Ting Tings; and British single for "Mercy," in a longlist of 10 that will be cut down to five by U.K. commercial radio listeners, with the winner selected by live vote on awards night.
Radiohead, Girls Aloud, Estelle and the Ting Tings landed two nominations apiece. The same five acts will compete for both international group and international album: AC/DC, Fleet Foxes, the Killers, Kings Of Leon and MGMT.
International male will be contested by Beck, Neil Diamond, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Seasick Steve, with the female category between Beyonce, Cilmi, Katy Perry, Pink and Santogold. The producer award, last given in 1998, returns to the fold, although the trophy -- contested by Bernard Butler, Brian Eno and Steve Mac -- will be presented at the Music Producers Guild (MPG) Awards at London's Cafe de Paris Feb. 12.
The BRIT Awards, sponsored again by MasterCard, will take place at Earls Court in London on Feb. 18, broadcast live on ITV1. The show will be co-presented by Kylie Minogue with U.K. TV comedy stars James Corden and Mathew Horne. The trio previously appeared together in the Australian pop star's ITV1 special "The Kylie Show."
The awards show will feature live performances by U2, the Pet Shop Boys (to be given the outstanding contribution to music award), Kings Of Leon, Duffy and Girls Aloud.
Additional reporting by Jen Wilson, London.