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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
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