Thursday 21 September 2017

Brit Awards 2015: We know who should win, but who will win?

Madonna performs
Madonna performs "Living for Love" at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.
Taylor Swift
Rihanna is rumoured to be performing at the BRITs
Sam Smith performs "Stay With Me" with Mary J. Blige at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.
George Ezra at The Academy Dublin. Photo: Colm Kelly.
Paolo Nutini plays on the main stage at the second day of Electric Picnic. Photo: Damien Eagers
Paloma Faith
Jessie J performs "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin'" with Tom Jones, as a tribute to Trustee Award honorees Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.
Lily Allen
Ella Henderson found fame on the last series of X Factor
FKA Twigs performs during Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 19, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
Alt-J
Coldplay
One Direction
Mike Keer of Royal Blood performs on stage at the Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue on August 23, 2014 in Reading, United Kingdom.

Emily Jupp

Even though the Brit Awards are ticketed, the best view in the house is from your living room. This year, Ant and Dec will host the event celebrating British music talent (with a few international acts thrown in). After last year’s show, when viewing figures dropped to their lowest since the Brits switched to a live broadcast, the organisers have pulled in some top talent to perform on the night to keep viewers from changing channels.

There are strong rumours that Rihanna is going to make an appearance, and there are sub-rumours she’s bringing a surprise guest to duet with her. Taylor Swift will also do a special set and Madonna will be performing there for the first time in 20 years - if her recent Grammy’s show is anything to go by, we can expect something arresting from her performance of new single "Living for Love". Royal Blood, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith and George Ezra will also be doing short sets. Despite all those big-name female vocalists performing on the night, this year’s nomination list is pretty man-heavy. More women next year please.

The part I’m most curious to see is Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran combusting as they try to out-nice each other. Both musicians are nominated for Best British Solo Male, Best British Single, Mastercard British Album of the Year and British Artist Video of the Year and both artists are famed for being nice guys. A scenario in which they each attempt to foist the awards onto each other may ensue, in TV’s most polite exchange ever; "No, you are far more deserving", "No, you! you are my role model!" Here are some more predictions based on a complex algorithm of who has done well at the Brits in the past, who’s going to be performing live on the night and who I am hoping will win, in spite of the odds.

Best British Solo Male

Nominations: Damon Albarn, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Paulo Nutini, Sam Smith

And the prediction is... Damon Albarn

He’s a wild card, but Albarn would be the thoughtful choice. He is currently writing the score for Wonder.land, a show based on Alice in Wonderland that will be part of the National Theatre’s first season under its new artistic director Rufus Norris. Couple that with the rumours that his animated band Gorillaz might be about to release a new album and the Blur frontman is surely deserving of an award.

British Solo Female

Nominations:  Ella Henderson, FKA Twigs, Jessie Ware, Lily Allen, Paloma Faith

And the prediction is...Paloma Faith

It’s a strong shortlist but Faith might just edge it. She’s a fabulous live performer and her last album A Perfect Contradiction was the best-selling album by a female artist in the UK in 2014. Aside from that she’s also joined forces with MasterCard’s Priceless Surprises campaign, making the dreams of fans come true at some very intimate gigs. MasterCard also sponsors one of the awards at the Brits.

British Group

Nominations: Alt-J, Clean Bandit, Coldplay, One Direction, Royal Blood

And the prediction is... One Direction

Coldplay have won this award three times in the past but this year my money is on 1D. They’re huge, and sometimes it’s easier just to give the fans what they want, especially if those fans are likely to threaten to scratch out the organisers’ eyes if the band don’t win.

British Breakthrough Act

Nominations: Chvrches, FKA Twigs, George Ezra, Royal Blood, Sam Smith

And the prediction is... Royal Blood

Brighton duo Royal Blood’s eponymous debut album went to number one in the UK albums chart and was nominated for the 2014 Mercury Prize. The popular rockers scooped two awards at the NME Awards last week, and put on an impressive live performance. Expect a replay at the Brits.

British Single

Nominations: Calvin Harris – "Summer", Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne – "Rather Be", Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones – "I Got U", Ed Sheeran – "Thinking Out Loud", Ella Henderson – "Ghost", George Ezra – "Budapest", Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – "Uptown Funk", Route 94 ft Jess Glynne – "My Love", Sam Smith – "Stay With Me", Sigma – "Nobody To Love"

And the prediction is... "Uptown Funk"

Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, which features Bruno Mars, has had huge chart success in past weeks, and boy, is it catchy.

Mastercard British Album of the Year

Nominations:  Alt-J – This Is All Yours, Ed Sheeran – X, George Ezra – Wanted On Voyage, Royal Blood – Royal Blood, Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

And the prediction is... Sam Smith with In The Lonely Hour

Sam Smith is leading with five nominations in total, so my money’s on him scooping the big one. It would have been nice to see some female artists nominated in this category though. Surely Jessie Ware’s Tough Love should get a look in?

British artist video of the year

Nominations: Calvin Harris – "Summer", Ed Sheeran – "Thinking Out Loud", Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – "Uptown Funk", One Direction – "You & I", Sam Smith – "Stay With Me"

And the prediction is... Ed Sheeran – "Thinking Out Loud"

Inspired by Strictly Come Dancing, Sheeran took up ballroom dancing lessons to pull off the moves in this video that had mothers across the nation saying, "Ahh, bless." A for effort, Ed.

International Male Solo

Nominations: Beck, Hozier, Jack White, John Legend, Pharrell Williams

And the prediction is... Pharrell Williams

Last year at the Brits, Pharrell Williams duetted with Nile Rodgers in a toe-tapping mash-up of "Get Lucky", "Good Times" and "Happy" that went viral but he didn’t take home a trophy. This year it’s time to remedy this oversight.

International Female Solo

Nominations: Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, Sia, St Vincent, Taylor Swift

And the prediction is... Sia

The Brit Awards tend to go a bit leftfield with the International Female Solo category. For example, wild genius Bjork has won it more times than any other artist. Enter Sia, the kooky Australian with the haunting voice whose video for her single "Elastic Heart" starred the balletic tween dancer Maddie Ziegler fighting the unusual actor Shia LaBeouf in a giant cage.

International Group

Nominations: 5 Seconds of Summer, The Black Keys, First Aid Kit, Foo Fighters, The War on Drugs

And the prediction is... First Aid Kit

US rock band Foo Fighters are headlining Glastonbury this year but the sound of this summer will be Scandi bands. First Aid Kit have been piquing our interest in all things Scandi since 2008. Their wistful pop melodies and folky vocals have been slowly invading the charts and with a new album expected late this year, they’re a strong contender.

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