What, no Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal, Wretch 32? There's no pleasing everyone on the Brit Awards

As nominations are announced, there are more “credible” figures, but less from the pop crowd. Aside from Plan B, the thriving UK urban scene hardly gets a look in

Related Topics

The Brit Awards nomination list is doomed to disappoint – too safe for tastemakers, too many wrinkly rockers for teenage pop fans.

But it’s hard to argue with a 2013 roll call that gives pride of place to the indie folk-tronica of Alt-J and recognises the “new Dylan” Jake Bugg, whilst also accommodating the relentless dance-pop of Rita Ora and the ubiquitous face of 2012, Emeli Sandé.

The organisers have found a way to recognise the commercial appeal of Olly Murs – one X Factor graduate who appears to have staying power – as well as the hushed, small-hours throb of The xx.

This year’s Brits reflects a widening UK divide between single track downloads which sell in huge numbers – generally producer-led, formulaic dance-pop, dominated by the likes of Calvin Harris and albums by critically-acclaimed artists, often wielding guitars, which sell very little.

With barely 100,000 sales, Mercury Prize winners Alt-J would be the lowest-selling Mastercard British Album of the Year.

Neither Richard Hawley (Best Male) or The xx (Best Group) will be receiving platinum discs for their releases during a year in which digital downloads failed to make up for the continued decline in album purchases,  and only Sandé broke one million UK album sales.

Increasing the representation of artists on the 2,000-strong Brits voting panel, which includes DJ, broadcasters and journalists, has ensured that more “credible” figures get nominated. But this has been at the expense of pure pop artists and, it appears, urban music.

The list is sorely lacking a Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal, Wretch 32 or any other artist representing a thriving UK urban scene bar Plan B, who receives two nominations for his politically-charged, Ill Manors soundtrack.

The Brits is also about winning big ratings for ITV on the night. Will the producers risk a low-key performance from Alt-J amid One Direction and the other gaudy delights – perhaps the two Best Group nominees will be asked to collaborate? Will The Rolling Stones deliver another performance at the O2 Arena after picking up the Best Live Act award, their first nomination since 1977.

And despite popping up at every television show, Olympic Torch relay and envelope opening last year, there is not a single nomination for will.i.am. So for that alone, even Brits-haters should be grateful.


Adam Sherwin is a member of Brit Awards voting panel

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page


Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace

Gabriel Sassoon
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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