Women set to dominate this year’s Brit Awards with four females nominated for Album of the Year

IT’S the best music event of the year – one that we’ve never needed more – and it has already given us something to celebrate.

Last night Nick Grimshaw unveiled the nominations for the Brits’ big night at London’s O2 on May 11 — and it’s already a triumph for women in music, with a major win for gender equality.

Dua Lipa looks set to steal the show after earning three major nominations, including in the Album Of The Year category, where she looks a runaway favourite thanks to the brilliance of Future Nostalgia.

She is one of a record four women in the five-strong short-list.

Future Nostalgia is a perfect pop record and it’s hard to see anyone toppling her.

She has a further nod for Female Solo Artist, where she faces competition from Celeste, Jessie Ware, Arlo Parks and Lianne La Havas.

Her third nomination comes in the British Single category, where her huge hit Physical faces a stiff challenge from Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar and tracks from Headie One, AJ Tracey and Stormzy.

Elsewhere, the Male Solo Artist category is dominated by grime, which doesn’t float my boat but is rightly recognised as the defining genre of the last year or so.

AJ Tracey, J Hus and Headie One are all shortlisted against pop hit maker Joel Corry and rocker Yungblud.

There’s plenty of glamour from abroad, with Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus all up for International Female.

Little Mix, Biffy Clyro and The 1975 set up a hotly contested three-way battle for British Group.

Singer Griff, who co-hosted the nominations event last night, has already picked up the coveted Rising Star award.

Other shortlists throw up a series of intriguing head-to-heads that could go either way on the night.

I’d love to see Foo Fighters recognised in the International Group category.

Their Medicine At Midnight album last year was an impressive reinvention from one of the world’s biggest rock acts.

While newcomer Celeste, also up for three nominations against stiff competition, deserves to walk away with something.

But with a whole six weeks to go, I’m confidently calling it already — it’s surely Dua’s night.

Her Future Nostalgia was too good not to see her claim a clean sweep.

And here’s hoping a handful of gongs brings out the party girl in her — the music industry really needs to let its hair down.

Dua is in the pink

Dua Lipa is in the pink after leading the nominations for the Brits.

Along with channeling her glee in the colour of her outfit, the British superstar said she was over the moon at her nods for Female Solo Artist, Album Of The Year and British Single for her song Physical.

Dua said: “This is really overwhelming. I am so proud of my album Future Nostalgia and single Physical. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me and enjoyed my music, it means everything to me.”

This week I revealed Dua as the first artist to be named as a performer at this year’s ceremony at London’s O2 arena on May 11.

She is the most nominated artist this year alongside Celeste and Arlo Parks, and I have a feeling 2021 it is all going to be about her.

But Dua think it’s deserved? Definitely.

Sam misses out as gongs stick with genders

Sam Smith has lost out in the nominations after organisers decided to keep the gendered categories.

The Diamonds singer came out as non-binary two years ago and released third album Love Goes in October, which was expected to earn them a string of nominations.

Yet despite extensive discussions, Brits bosses decided to keep the Best Male and Best Female Solo Artist categories, neither of which Sam feels suits their identity.

It meant the Brits committee could only vote for Love Goes in the Mastercard Album Of The Year category, but it didn’t make the cut.

It is sure to be a shame for Sam, who has a great history with the awards, having been nominated 12 times and winning three.

After I revealed last month how the gendered categories were being kept, Sam said: “Music for me has always been about unification, not division. I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in.

“Let’s celebrate everybody regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”

Organisers argued that getting rid of gendered categories could result in an unfair bias, but insisted they are looking into how things could change for next year.

They said: “Any changes made to be more inclusive need to be
just that. If a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counter-productive to diversity and equality.”

It’s a tough one, but making it a fairer and more accepting awards ceremony sounds good to me.

Third time lucky for Little Mix?

Little Mix will be hoping it’s third time lucky at The Brits after they were nominated again in the British Group category.

Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock have never managed to clinch the gong despite being nominated in 2017 and 2019.

But I’ve got a feeling this could be their year.

It’s just a shame their bandmate Jesy Nelson, who left the group in December after nine years, won’t be there to pick up the gong with them if they do win it.

I’ve got everything crossed, girls.


Simon Boyle

In a tough year for music, this is a fair list of nominations – and Dua’s record was pop perfection which deserves recognition.

Across the board it’s a win for diversity, with women scoring record representation in the biggest category of the night and grime recognised for its rapidly growing influence.

But it also highlights how rock seems to have hit the skids – we desperately need a great new band to step up to the mark, and dreary The 1975 simply aren’t it.

Joe Kasper

Again it feels like grime is propping up British music.

In Best British Male are AJ Tracey, Headie One and J Hus (although he may not like being called grime).

Last year Dave stole the show and in 2021 I reckon it will be grime once again that dominates the Brits.

Finally artists are getting the recognition they deserve for representing the UK globally.

Without lyricists such as AJ, Headie and J Hus, the UK would be a David, but with them we’re a Goliath.

Ellie Henman

There are so many amazing artists who missed out on a nomination this year.

KSI was snubbed from the British Male Solo Artist and Album categories.

Since dropping his debut album Dissimulation last year, he has proved his merit as an artist and has had smash hits with Anne-Marie and Craig David.

Niall Horan and Justin Bieber missed out on International Male Solo Artist.

All three put out new music in a year when so many artists were afraid too.

Howell Davies

Ageism against women in pop is still alive and well – just look at the International Female Solo Artist category.

Kylie Minogue's Disco was last year’s fastest-selling album by a solo artist – but she has been snubbed.

The average age in the category is 27, whereas it is 41 for International Male Solo Artist.

Perhaps Lady Gaga – whose album Chromatica went to No1 – is considered over the hill at 35.

Let’s hope Kylie gets the Outstanding Contribution to Music gong.

Coldplay to top virtual Glasto bill

Not much can compare to standing in a muddy field with a lukewarm beer, surrounded by smelly campers while watching some of the world’s best acts – but that’s the magic of Glastonbury.

While that won’t be happening this year though, all hope is not lost, as organiser Emily Eavis is staging a five-hour online extravaganza from the site to cheer up punters gutted by its cancellation for a second time.

Live At Worthy Farm will feature acts including Coldplay, Haim, Jorja Smith, Damon Albarn and Kano performing on a variety of stages across the venue in Somerset on May 22.

And while it won’t be the same, I’ll definitely be buying a £20 ticket and blaring it through speakers in my garden to try to recreate some Worthy Farm magic.

Emily made the announcement yesterday and said those behind Glasto were planning on giving fans the best virtual version of the festival they could.

She said: “After two Glastonbury cancellations, it brings us great pleasure to announce our first online livestream, which will present live music performances filmed across Worthy Farm at landmarks including the Pyramid and for the first time ever, the Stone Circle.

“It will feature a rolling cast of artists and performers who have all given us enormous support by agreeing to take part in this event, showing the farm as you have never seen it.

“There will also be some very special guest appearances and collaborations.

“We are hoping this will bring a bit of Glastonbury to your homes and that, for one night only, people all over the world will be able to join us on this journey through the farm together.”

The live stream begins in the UK at 7pm on that Saturday night and fans will have to be tuned in to watch — as the event won’t be available again on catch-up.

It is hoped earnings will help to secure the festival’s return in 2022, as well as raising funds for Greenpeace and WaterAid.

Music fans might face a bit of a dilemma though, as it clashes with the Eurovision Song Contest.

I’ll be tuning into Live At Worthy Farm though, and giving Coldplay my full “douze points”.

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