The BRITs are back. With the most diverse list of nominations ever, and an audience of 4,000 set to attend the ceremony at the O2 IRL, it’s looking like exactly the kind of starry music biz shindig we need to shake off any lingering lockdown cobwebs.
Some prizes have already been handed out — 20-year-old Griff was named Rising Star, while Taylor Swift has been given the Global Icon award — but there’s still plenty up for grabs on the night. Here’s who we think will, should and could win big.
International Female Solo Artist
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Will win: Taylor Swift
It’s a straight shootout between Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. The latter’s Global Icon scoop complicates things — should we expect Swiftian domination, or is the award just making up for her being snubbed here? Hard to say, but we’re on Team Tay-Tay.
Should win: Taylor Swift
Complete stylistic overhaul? Yep. Two excellent albums? Uh-huh. A big eff-you to the music biz by re-recording her early albums? You betcha. You can’t say it’d be undeserved.
Outside chance: Billie Eilish
Reiterating the fact that I reckon Grande is a very close second, you can never rule out Billie Eilish, who hoovers up awards like it’s nobody’s business.
Female Solo Artist
Lianne La Havas
Will win: Dua Lipa
If I owned a house (big up Generation Rent) then I would bet it on Dua Lipa here. Her relentlessly fun album, Future Nostalgia, released in March last year, was nothing short of a public service.
Should win: Dua Lipa
All hail Dua.
Outside chance: Arlo Parks
There was a lot of buzz around Arlo Parks when she released her debut album earlier this year, and by most measures, it matched it. Don’t entirely count her out.
International Male Solo Artist
Will win: The Weeknd
The Weeknd was entirely ignored by this year’s Grammys — three US number ones and playing at the Super Bowl doesn’t cut the mustard, apparently — so it’d be pretty symbolic for him to triumph here.
Should win: The Weeknd
After the success he’s had, you can’t look past him.
Outside chance: Burna Boy
Pandemic or no pandemic, this would have been a massive year for Burna Boy, but even with the worldwide disruption, the release of his latest album Twice as Tall proved his place as a global force.
Male Solo Artist
Will win: AJ Tracey
Should win: Headie One
What Headie One did last year, mainstreaming drill, can’t be ignored.
Outside chance: Yungblud
He doesn’t quite have the star power to topple the others, but Yungblud has been doing his thing with great success, defying labels both personally and artistically.
Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams
Celeste - Not Your Muse
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
J Hus - Big Conspiracy
Jessie Ware - What’s Your Pleasure?
Will win: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia.
We could bang on about Future Nostalgia all day, but basically: it’s going to win.
Should win: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Yep, you guessed it.
Outside chance: Arlo Parks
Again, Arlo Parks could be in with the faintest of shouts for her delightful debut.
Young T and Bugsey
Will win: Joel Corry
The BRITs usually go off commercial success, which means DJ and producer Joel Corry should be favourite here. Head and Heart featuring MNEK was top of the UK charts for six weeks, and has recently smashed the 600 million streams mark on Spotify.
Should win: Arlo Parks
Corry’s been releasing music for years, so if we’re talking about the newest artists, then Arlo Parks is the one.
Outside chance: Bicep
They were pretty much the biggest thing in UK dance music before the ‘rona hit, so they’re not out of the running just yet.
220 Kid & GRACEY - Don’t Need Love
Aitch & AJ Tracey feat. Tay Keith - Rain
Dua Lipa - Physical
Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar
Headie One feat. AJ Tracey and Stormzy - Ain’t It Different
Joel Corry feat. MNEK - Head & Heart
Nathan Dawe feat. KSI - Lighter
Regard & RAYE - Secrets
S1MBA feat. DTG - Rover
Young T & Bugsey feat. Headie One - Don’t Rush
Will win: Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar
You could make a case for a number of these scooping the prize, but this feels like a very BRITs-ish song to win.
Should win: Young T and Bugsey feat. Headie One - Don’t Rush
Every year has one of those ubiquitous tracks, but Don’t Rush did it twice — first in 2019, and then again in 2020 with the remixes.
Outside chance: Aitch & AJ Tracey feat. Tay Keith - Rain
It’s probably a lot more than an outside chance, to be fair. When two of the biggest rappers in the UK came together for this track, they did not disappoint.
Will win: The 1975
The last album from The 1975 was musical marmite, but the British album-buying public seemed impressed, placing it at number one in the charts.
Should win: Little Mix
Even though they lost a quarter of the workforce when Jesy Nelson departed, Little Mix had a solid year, with Confetti peaking at number two in the album charts.
Outside chance: Young T and Bugsey
Their Plead the 5th mixtape only got to number 25, but it did have some pretty huge tracks.
Young T and Bugsey
Will win: BTS
The all-conquering South Koreans have never received much more than a lukewarm reception at the Grammys, despite being the biggest band on the planet. They’ll surely triumph here.
Should win: BTS
You can’t look past the K-Pop lads. They’re unstoppable.
Outside chance: HAIM
The Californian sisters are probably second favourites, although a wildcard Foo Fighters win is still a possibility.
The BRIT Awards are live from 8pm tonight on ITV and ITV Hub
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