David Bowie, Rihanna, Little Mix Score Nominations for 2017 Brit Awards

4:35 PM 1/17/2017

by Lars Brandle, Billboard

The U.K. recording industry’s flagship awards ceremony will be held Feb. 22 at London's O2 Arena.

Rihanna
Rihanna
Dominique Charriau/WireImage/Getty Images

With three nominations each, Little Mix, Rihanna and Skepta are the frontrunners leading up to the 2017 Brit Awards, while the late British legend David Bowie and Canadian rapper Drake are in the chasing pack of artists with two nods apiece.

Nominations for this year's awards were announced at a ceremony Saturday night (Jan. 14) and for the first time were broadcast in a primetime slot on free-to-air TV station ITV.

Little Mix, the pop act whose fourth album Glory Days is the current No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart (and has held top spot for five weeks), is up for British group and their hit "Shoutout To My Ex" is in the hunt for British single and British video.

Rihanna’s hat trick of nominations includes a chance in the categories for British single and British video for her collaboration with Calvin Harris, “This Is What You Came For,” and the Barbadian singer features in a loaded category for international female solo artist along with Sia, Christine and the Queens and the Knowles sisters, Beyoncé and Solange.

Skepta’s 2016 Mercury Music Prize-winning album Konnichiwa is in the running for the prestigious Brits Album of the Year honor, though it faces stiff competition from David Bowie's Mercury-nominated final album Blackstar, The 1975's I Like It When You Sleep…, , Kano's Made in the Manor and Michael Kiwanuka's Love & Hate.

The grime artist (real name Joseph Adenuga) is also mentioned for British breakthrough artist and he makes the shortlist for British male solo artist alongside Craig David, David Bowie, Kano and Michael Kiwanuka.

There’s a posthumous nod for Canadian songsmith Leonard Cohen (best international male artist) and British superstar singer Adele is nominated for a solitary trophy, for British artist video of the year for "Send My Love (To Your New Lover).”

Rag 'N' Bone Man performed at the weekend’s nominations ceremony and was later presented with the Brits Critics' Choice Award, one of two awards announced in advance of the gala. The other, the Brits Icon Award, belongs to Robbie Williams.

The BRITs, the U.K. recording industry’s flagship awards ceremony, will be held Feb. 22 at London's O2 Arena. Little Mix, The 1975 and Emeli Sande head the first batch of performers confirmed for the big night.

Organizers shook-up its voting panel for next month’s gala after the 2016 show was overshadowed by controversy over the lack of black nominees.

When a string of artists criticized the BRITs for failing to represent the diversity of the British music scene and the issue began trending on social media, the BPI conducted a review of its voting panel and subsequently invited 700 new members from across the U.K. industry to help pick the nominees and award winners.

Fans have until this Friday to have their say on the two public-voted categories, British artist and video of the year. 
Canadian crooner Michael Buble was previously announced as host, but his participation is unclear after his son was diagnosed with cancer last year, prompting Buble to cancel all immediate music biz engagements.

Visit the Brit Awards website for more information.

This story first appeared on billboard.com

  • British Male Solo Artist

    Getty Images

    David Bowie
 (WINNER)
    Craig David
    Kano
    
Michael Kiwanuka
    
Skepta

  • British Female Solo Artist


    Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

    Emeli Sande (WINNER)
    Anohni

    Ellie Goulding

    Lianne La Havas

    Nao

  • British Group


    The 1975
    The 1975
    Screengrab/BRITs

    The 1975 (WINNER)
    
Bastille

    Biffy Clyro

    Little Mix

    Radiohead

  • British Breakthrough Act


    Getty Images

    Rag’n’Bone Man
 (WINNER)
    Anne-Marie

    Blossoms

    Skepta
    
Stormzy

  • British Single

    David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

    Little Mix – "Shout Out To My Ex" (WINNER)
    Alan Walker – "Faded
"
    Calum Scott – "Dancing On My Own"

    Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – "This Is What You Came For"
    
Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – "Rockabye"
    
Coldplay – "Hymn For The Weekend"
    
James Arthur – "Say You Won't Let Go
"
    Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – "Fast Car"
    Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson – "Girls Like"
    
Zayn – "Pillowtalk"

  • Mastercard British Album Of The Year

    Getty Images

    David Bowie – Blackstar
 (WINNER)
    
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep For You Are Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

    Kano – Made In the Manor
    
Michael Kiwanuka –  Love & Hate

    Skepta – Konnichiwa

  • British Artist Video of the Year


    One Direction
    One Direction
    Courtesy of BBC

    One Direction – "History
" (WINNER)
    Adele – "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
"
    Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – "This Is What You Came For
"
    Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – "Rockabye
"
    Coldplay – "Hymn For The Weekend
"
    James Arthur – "Say You Won't Let Go
"
    Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – "Fast Car
"
    Little Mix feat. Sean Paul – "Hair
"
    Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson – "Girls Like
"
    Zayn – "Pillowtalk"

  • International Male Solo Artist


    Getty Images

    Drake
 (WINNER)
    Bon Iver
    
Bruno Mars
    Leonard Cohen
    
The Weeknd

  • International Female Solo Artist


    Getty Images

    Beyonce (WINNER)
    
Christine and the Queens

    Rihanna
    
Sia

    Solange

  • International Group

    Taylor Hill/Getty Images

    A Tribe Called Quest
 (WINNER)
    Drake and Future

    Kings of Leon

    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

    Twenty One Pilots

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