Brit Awards nominations 2021: Dua Lipa, Arlo Parks and Celeste lead a standout year for women
For the first time in Brit Awards history, four out of five nominations for Best Album are female, a brilliant turnaround from last year’s heavily male-dominated Brit Awards, in which the Best Album category was exclusively male.
In fact, this year’s nominees are some of the most diverse we’ve ever seen, with electronic wizards Bicep brushing up against soulful poet Arlo Parks and rappers Yung T & Bugsey in the Breakthrough Artist category, while house DJ Joel Corry, provocative punkster Yungblud and drill star Headie One are all up for British Male Solo Artist. It’s a wonderful testament to how varied and inclusive the UK mainstream has become, with no genre left out in the cold. Even rockers get a look in, with Foo Fighters and Fontaines DC going head to head in International Group, and The 1975 in British Group.
Leading the charge with the most nominations are Arlo Parks, last year’s Brit Award-winning rising star Celeste, Joel Corry, Dua Lipa, and Yung T & Bugsey, each with three nominations to their name. Parks, a breakout singer from south London whose contemplative album on love, body image and anxiety Collapsed in Sunbeams shot to Number Three in the charts is a firm favourite, as is Dua Lipa, whose disco-fuelled album Future Nostalgia provided glittering relief from the sludge and trudge of lockdown last year.
It’s no surprise, then, that Lipa has been chosen as one of the two performers on the night of the Brit Awards – her Future Nostalgia live stream in December being one of the most successful of the pandemic, with a record-breaking five million views.
The event’s second performer will be the recipient of the Rising Star Award: 20-year-old pop star Griff, who produces almost all of her own music, and her own clothes, from her bedroom.
The event will be taking place on May 11 at the O2, hosted – as always – by Jack Whitehall and broadcast live on ITV.
Here is the list of nominees in full:
British Female Solo Artist
Lianne La Havas
British Male Solo Artist
Yung T & Bugsey
Yung T & Bugsey
British Single, with Mastercard
220 Kid and Gracey, Don’t Need Love
Aitch and AJ Tracey ft. Tay Keith, Rain
Dua Lipa, Physical
Harry Styles, Watermelon Sugar
Headie One, ft. Stormzy and AJ Tracey, Ain’t It Different