Several of the nominees expressed their joy on hearing the news. Wet Leg exclaimed, “Somebody hold our horses while we get to grips with this wild news, being nominated for a BRIT award is too hard to comprehend, we never could have expected for our wee band to achieve this.”
Webb gave a shout-out to a previous winner in the category. “I remember seeing Dua Lipa win Best New Artist in 2018 and being in awe of her – that moment really inspired me to work hard and be the artist I am today.”
Ryder expressed his joy in a most vivid way: “I’m buzzing! I feel like a Golden Retriever that’s won a medal.”
Wet Leg, the female indie rock duo that tied Harry Styles for the most nominations by any artist this year (four), is the clear front-runner here, but the other four acts should not lose heart. Many future superstars have lost this award and gone on to do very well. The gifted singer whose photo accompanies this story is one of them.
It’s not that the Brits don’t know a talented new artist when they see one. The roster of winners in this category includes such heavyweights as Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi. It’s just that it’s not always easy to envision how an artist will develop and grow based on just their first year – and sometimes, less than a year – of success.
Note: The category has undergone several name changes over the years. When the Brits originated in 1977, they presented separate awards for British female newcomer and British male newcomer. When the show resumed in 1982 following a four-year hiatus, the Brits made the category gender-neutral and called it the Brit Award for British newcomer. In 2003, they changed it to the Brit Award for British breakthrough act. In 2020, they changed it again to the Brit Award for best new artist – mirroring the language the Grammys had used since they introduced the award in 1959.
Here are 10 artists who lost the award for best new artist, but (thankfully) didn’t let that stop them.