Girl power versus older men on the Brit awards shortlist

Female artists dominated the Brit Awards nominations yesterday with Lily Allen, Lady Gaga and Florence And The Machine all in the running for prizes.

Announced in London last night, the shortlist marked one of the strongest showings for female acts in recent times. Pixie Lott, a 19-year-old who shot to fame from relative obscurity, was nominated in three categories including Best British Female Solo Artist and British Single for her debut release, "Mama Do", which rocketed to No 1 following its release in June last year.

Lily Allen, snubbed by Brits judges in 2007 despite being nominated in three categories, has been nominated this year for Best Female and Best Single for "The Fear". Her outrageously attired American counterpart, Lady Gaga, left, who bagged last year's most-downloaded single with "Poker Face", is in the running for International Female, Breakthrough Artist and Best Album for The Fame.

The 2008 X-Factor runners-up JLS also got three nominations. But there was no such luck for last year's reality TV star Susan Boyle, who failed to make the shortlist despite recording the biggest-selling British album of last year.

The International Male will pay heed to the veterans of the pop music world, with all the artists over the age of 30. The eldest, Seasick Steve, 68, is closely followed by Bruce Springsteen – six years his junior. They are joined by Eminem, Jay-Z and Michael Bublé.

Despite a luke-warm reception to his latest album, Robbie Williams is set to emerge triumphant as sole nominee in the Outstanding Contribution to Music category. He will compete with Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Mika and Paolo Nutini for the British Male Solo Artist award, a category he has won four times before. Best British Group will be fought between Doves, Friendly Fires, JLS, Kasabian and Muse.

The awards will take place in London on 16 February.

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