Franz Ferdinand, the Glaswegian art rockers, saw their path from obscurity to Mercury Prize success topped last night with five nominations for the Brits - more than The Darkness achieved when they dominated last year's list.
The 25th stock-take of British music will feature the band performing live at an event where they will be battling not only for the best breakthrough act award, but for best British group, British rock act, British live act, and best album - with their eponymous debut.
They will face competition in four categories from the Devon band Muse, who beat them to best alternative act at the MTV Europe Awards.
Other contenders are the Sussex band Keane, the distinctively British rapper The Streets and the band of Scottish university mates, Snow Patrol. All are in the running for three awards, as are the singers Natasha Bedingfield and Jamelia who will also compete for best British female artist.
Bedingfield will perform with Daniel, the brother she has come to overshadow, at the event at Earls Court exhibition centre in London on 9 February while Jamelia will appear with the twice-nominated Lemar, who won the best British urban act title last year.
Keane, the Scissor Sisters from New York, and the young West Country soul star Joss Stone will also be appearing in the event that is regarded as the biggest PR night in British rock and pop music. The Scissor Sisters and Joss Stone are each up for two awards. Bob Geldof, who insists he is primarily a rock singer rather than a charity worker, will get a chance to prove his point when he performs after receiving an award for his contribution to music.
The shortlists, promoted at the Park Lane Hotel in London last night, featured the first nomination for the former Beach Boy, Brian Wilson. He is 62. Smile , the album he released last year, more than 30 years after it was first mooted, has secured him a nomination for best international male solo artist.
With a new album and rare UK tour, Morrissey could be in the running for his first Brit in the British male solo artist category against talents as diverse as the young jazz star Jamie Cullum and the television talent contest winner Will Young. Young is also shortlisted in the British single category where competition includes the Band Aid song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
To mark the 25th year of the Brits, BBC Radio 2 listeners have been voting for the best British song of the past quarter-century. The first round of voting has narrowed the longlist to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush, "We Are the Champions" by Queen, Robbie Williams' "Angels" and Will Young's "Leave Right Now".
BRIT NOMINATIONS - MAIN CATEGORIES
BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST
BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Keane, Hopes and Fears
Snow Patrol, Final Straw
The Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free
Band Aid 20, Do They Know It's Christmas
Jamelia, Thank You
LMC vs U2, Take Me To The Clouds Above
Shapeshifters, Lola's Theme
Will Young, Your Game
BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT
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- Brit Rock
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- Snow Patrol