For the first time in the history of the Brit Awards, female solo artists account for four of the five albums nominated for album of the year (branded Mastercard album).
Dua Lipa’s nominated album, Future Nostalgia, was also Grammy-nominated for album of the year, though it lost to Taylor Swift’s Folklore.
Lipa received three Brit nods this year, which put her in a five-way tie for the lead, along with the aforementioned Arlo Parks and Celeste; a male dance artist, Joel Corry, and a hip-hop group, Young T & Bugsey. Lipa is the only artist nominated for both the top album and single award.
Lipa could be headed for her second win for British single. She is nominated this year with “Physical.” She won two years ago for “One Kiss,” a collab with Calvin Harris. If she wins, she’ll join Adele as the only female artist to win twice in the category.
Another of this year’s nominees, Harry Styles, could also be headed for his second win in the category. He is nominated for “Watermelon Sugar.” As part of One Direction, he won in 2012 for “What Makes You Beautiful.” If he wins, he would join Robbie Williams as the only artists to win both solo and with a group. Williams won the award three times on his own and three times with Take That.
Celeste, who won the Brits’ rising star award last year, is nominated for an Oscar for best original song for co-writing “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 with composer Daniel Pemberton. The Oscars will be presented April 25.
Several of this year’s nominees have won in those categories in the past. Foo Fighters, nominated for international group, are four-time winners in that category. The 1975, nominated for British group, are two-time winners in that category. Lipa, nominated for female solo artist, won in that category in 2018.
Three of the nominees for international female artist have won previously in that category — Billie Eilish last year, Ariana Grande in 2019 and Swift in 2015. Bruce Springsteen is the only one of this year’s nominees for international male artist who has won previously in that category (in 1986).
The Brits reinstated the award for international group after a one-year lapse — BTS’ popularity might have had something to do with that — but tabled the category of British producer of the year this year.
The Brits are set to air on May 11, nearly 15 months after the last show, which was held on Feb. 18, 2020. It was one of the last major awards shows to air before COVID-19 shut down award shows and most other public gatherings for more than a year.
Comedian, actor and writer Jack Whitehall will host the show for the fourth year in a row. That equals James Corden’s four-year stint as host from 2011-14. Current plans are for the show to be held at the O2 Arena in London. Lipa and Griff are the first artists confirmed to perform on the show.
The eligibility period for this year’s Brit Awards was Dec. 13, 2019 to March 11, 2021.
The nominations were announced by Griff and BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw. They were announced across all @BRITs official social platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
The Brits have just 10 categories, one of which they already announced (Griff as the winner of the fan-voted rising star award). By contrast, the Grammys have had 84 categories the past five years.
The Brits have separate male and female categories for British solo artists and international [defined as non-British] solo artists. By contrast, the Grammys did away with gendered categories as part of a major 2011 category overhaul.
And the Brits’ eligibility year ended March 11, just two months before the May 11 show. By contrast, the Grammys’ eligibility year ended on Aug. 31, 2019, more than six months before their March 14 show.
There are at least three other differences between the Brits and the Grammys. The nominees for British single with Mastercard are the top 10 singles from the eligibility period based on chart-eligible sales success. (Academy voter will determine the winner.) Grammy nominees are not based on charts. Also, six of these Brit awards have corporate sponsors. The Grammys have never sold naming rights. Finally, the Brits don’t count featured credits towards artists’ awards tallies; the Grammys do.
See the complete list of Brit Award nominees below.
British Single with Mastercard (Supported by Capital FM)
220 Kid & Gracey, “Don’t Need Love”
Aitch & AJ Tracey featuring Tay Keith, “Rain”
Dua Lipa, “Physical”
Harry Styles, “Watermelon Sugar”
Headie One featuring AJ Tracey & Stormzy, “Ain’t It Different”
J Corry featuring Mnek, “Head and Heart”
Nathan Dawe featuring KSI, “Lighter”
Regard & Raye, “Secrets”
Simba featuring DTG, “Rover”
Young T & Bugsey featuring Heady One, “Don’t Rush”
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 – in association with Amazon Music
Male Solo Artist – in association with Amazon Music
Young T & Bugsey
BRITs Rising Star supported by Radio 1 (fan-voted)
Breakthrough Artist in association with TikTok
Young T & Bugsey
International Female Solo Artist
International Male Solo Artist
Run the Jewels