Quite right that the Brits should have a gloat

Tonight's awards will celebrate bands' overseas success

There's a new award at this year's Brits, and it points at just how successful a year it's been for British music. The inaugural Global Success award recognises a UK act's worldwide success after a year in which its three nominees – Mumford & Sons, Adele and One Direction – all stormed the American chart.

Those three acts held four of the top five-selling albums in the American Billboard charts last year – Adele's 21, Mumford & Sons' Babel and One Direction's two releases, Up All Night and Take Me Home. Only 10 days ago the Mumfords won the most coveted Grammy, for Best Album with Babel, rocketing them straight back into the No 1 spot in the Billboard chart, maintaining Britain's stronghold.

The Brit Awards are unlikely to throw up any major surprises or recognise alternative talent – they reflect what's currently popular and successful commercially rather than what's challenging and getting the critics fired up. Even the Brits Critics Choice award, now in its sixth year, recognises a rising artist who is set for stardom as opposed to the critical favourite, which is why it has become such a reliable indicator of the next big star. The first ever male winner, Tom Odell, whose melodic, piano-led, sensitive singer-songwriter ballads channel Coldplay, will no doubt follow in the footsteps of 2012's choice and this year's four times-nominated-artist Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine and Adele before him, after he collects his gong tonight.

At a time when record shops are closing in their droves, reducing the outlets for recorded music, this year's Brits show another side to the bleak picture – that British music is going strong. And as with any music awards, from the Mercury Prize to the Grammys, one goal is to further boost the sales of those winners and nominees – not that the inevitable chosen winners are the ones that most need that bump.

Among a generally limp list of solo male nominees – the mass-pleasing folk guitar-strumming Ben Howard, the disco star Calvin Harris, and the pop star Olly Murs, who rose up through The X-Factor – there are two outstandingly worthy winners who continue to push the boundaries. Richard Hawley deserves the prize for sheer contribution to and influence on British guitar music, and for his stunning album Standing on the Sky's Edge, a sunburst of psychedelic rock. If that album is considered by some to be too retrospective, then Plan B holds the album that best captures the times, with his visceral soundtrack Ill Manors, depicting the harsh, gritty underbelly of London life. Although I suspect it will be the risk-averse choice of Olly Murs for the accolade.

The nominees for best Live Act show that it's not just recorded music that's enjoying wide-reaching success. The return of The Rolling Stones was a highlight of 2012, while their closest rivals are the UK's best contemporary live act Muse, who take their enormous prog-rock set on their biggest stadium tour this May. On the night itself, while Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift are set to perform, it is British acts who will be stealing the stage. Two of the three Atlantic-crossing giants Mumford & Sons and One Direction will take the stage, as well as Muse, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams, Olly Murs and Ben Howard.

The Global Success award is a sign of UK acts' burgeoning international appeal, but whether or not the award will be included in future years depends on whether British music continues to make such an impact. It would be a tough year to repeat.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform