The nominations for the Brit Awards 2020 have been announced and it includes some of today’s hottest and most promising artists. Leading the way is Glasgow singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi and London rapper Dave as the most nominated artists.
The nominations were revealed on January 11, 2020, in a special televised programme, ‘The Brits Are Coming Back’, that featured a stellar line-up including performances from Mabel, Aitch, Freya Ridings, Dermot Kennedy and Liam Payne. The winners will be announced next month, at the annual awards ceremony, which is due to take place, at The O2, in London, on February 18, 2020.
— BRIT Awards (@BRITs) January 11, 2020
Lewis Capaldi and Dave – both of whom had a very successful 2019 – are the most nominated artists, with four nominations each. Both, the ‘Someone You Loved’ singer and ‘Location’ rapper will compete in the same four categories – Album of the Year, British Male Solo Artists of the Year, Best New Artist and Song of the Year.
Dave won the Mercury prize, in 2019, for his album, ‘Psychodrama’ – which is a frank exploration of race, poverty, family and mental strife -topped the UK charts. Speaking about his nominations, Dave said: “What an honour, and what a way to end the most incredible year. I’m very grateful.”
Nigerian singer, Burna Boy – who featured on Dave’s Song of the Year nomination, ‘Location’ – is up for Best International Male. He’ll go up against Dermot Kennedy, Bruce Springsteen, Post Malone and Tyler, the Creator.
Meanwhile, Capaldi topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, with his power ballad ‘Someone You Loved’, which was the biggest-selling song of 2019, in the UK. His album, ‘Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent’ – which chronicled the aftermath of a breakup and its devastating affect – was also the UK’s biggest selling album.
HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR 4 BRIT AWARDS!!!! from the shit awards to the Brit awards, dream can come true. who said sex appeal can’t get you to the top @BRITs x pic.twitter.com/naxxD3t0m8 — Lewis Capaldi (@LewisCapaldi) January 11, 2020
However, the British music industry has come under fire for its focus on male solo artists at the cost of female artists. The obvious discrepancy has been catapulted into focus by the 2020 Brit Award nominations, which sees only one British women, and no groups including women, nominated in the male-dominated line-up.
Across 25 spots, in mixed-gender categories, only on British female artist has been nominated. British pop singer-songwriter Mabel was nominated for Female Solo Artist of the Year, Best New Artist, and Song of the Year, for ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ – but the nine other Song of the Year nominees and four other best New Artist nominees are solo British males. However, US star Miley Cyrus does feature, on Mark Ronson’s nominated Song of the Year, ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’.
The Best British female category sees pop singer Mabel, going up against Freya Ridings, R&B star Mahalia, Charli XCX, and FKA twigs. Speaking about her nomination, Mabel said: “It’s really surreal to be nominated for 3 awards this year. Third year in a row to be nominated so fingers crossed it’s the 3rd time lucky and I can take one home this year.”
With Capaldi and Dave leading the nominations, with four nods each, its left to Stormzy and Mabel to take second place – following closely behind with three nominations each. Harry Styles then comes in third with two nominations for Male Solo Artist of the Year and Album Of The Year.
However, its in the top prize of the night, Best British Album, that you see the discrepancy in the male-dominated nominees, which includes: Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy, Michael Kiwanuka, Dave, and Harry Styles. The longlist for Best British Album saw 193 submissions, and of that 193 only 35 were by female artists. Nominees for best British group were also all men: Coldplay, Foals, Bring Me the Horizon, Bastille, and D-Block Europe.
However, were the Brits’ recognition of female artists lacked – in the male-dominated nominations – it was vastly improved in its recognition of artists of colour, which comes after the “BritsSoWhite” criticism they received in recent years. This years nominees sees the discrepancy between white artists and artists of colour close. As more than half of the Best Album and British Male and Female nominees are non-white.
This could be partly attributed to the increased talent in the British rap and R&B music this year, but its also attributed to the increased diversity of the Brits Academy, where in a 2016 a shakeup brought in 700 new members. Those changes also made the gender split of voters almost equal, but this year’s gender discrepancy in the nominations raises questions about how female British talent is being recognised
The full list of Brit Award 2020 Nominees is:
Male Solo Artist of the Year:
Female Solo Artist of the Year:
Song of the Year:
AJ Tracey – ‘Ladbroke Grove’
Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man – ‘Giant’
Dave feat. Burna Boy – ‘Location’
Ed Sheeran feat. Justin Bieber – ‘I Don’t Care’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Someone You Loved’
Mabel – ‘Don’t Call Me Up’
Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus – ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’
Sam Smith feat. Normani – ‘Dancing With A Stranger’
Stormzy – ‘Vossi Bop’
Tom Walker – ‘Just You and I’
Group of the Year:
Bring Me The Horizon
Best New Artist:
International Male Solo Artist:
Tyler, the Creator
International Female Solo Artist:
Lana Del Rey
Mastercard Album of the Year:
Dave – ‘Psychodrama’
Harry Styles – ‘Fine Line’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent’
Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Kiwanuka’
Stormzy – ‘Heavy Is The Head’