Brit Awards 2010: Pixie Lott and Lily Allen lead nominations in triumph for girl power
Pixie Lott, who was discovered at 14 and juggled her fledgling career with her GCSE studies, leads the Brit Awards nominations in a shortlist dominated by female acts.
Her three nominations are in the categories of best British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act and British Single for Mama Do.
Lily Allen, Lady Gaga and Florence & the Machine also have three nominations apiece, one of the strongest showings in recent memory for female artists.
Lott, 19, released debut single Mama Do in June 2009 and it went straight to number one. Her album, Turn It Up, followed in September and was a top 10 hit.
Although she was unheard of this time last year, the stockbroker's daughter from Brentwood, Essex has been honing her act for years.
Aged 14, and a student at London's Italia Conti stage school, she answered an advert that appealed for the "next hot diva" in music. The auditions were open to 16-25-year-olds but Lott lied about her age and was instantly signed up by a manager, David Sonenberg, who sent her to the United States while she was in the middle of her GCSEs.
Her arresting voice and songwriting talent brought her to the attention of LA Reid, the producer behind Avril Lavigne and Pink, and her career began in earnest. "It was so hard because my mum was saying, 'You have to do your GCSEs', but this was all I wanted to do. One day I’d be out in LA recording songs, the next day I’d be back at school doing GCSE maths," she said.
Lott was christened Victoria Louise but was given the 'Pixie' nickname by her parents as a baby.
She will vie for the British Female Solo Artist prize with Allen, a relative veteran after releasing her first album in 2006, and Florence Welch, the art school graduate who fronts the band Florence & the Machine. Both are shortlisted in the best British Album category, while Allen is a contender for best British Single with The Fear and Welch has a nomination for best British Breakthrough Act.
Lady Gaga is nominated in the international categories for best Female Solo Artist, Breakthrough Act and Album. The outrageously-attired American - born Stefani Germanotta - has achieved mainstream success in the past 12 months, even singing for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.
Robbie Williams, Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen are among the male artists nominated this year. The awards will take place at London's Earls Court on February 16.
Despite having the biggest-selling British album of 2009, Susan Boyle failed to land a single nomination.
Full list of nominations:
British Male Solo Artist
British Female Solo Artist
Bat for Lashes
Florence & the Machine
British Breakthrough Act
(Top 5 selected by Voting Academy; winner chosen by Radio 1 listeners)
Florence & the Machine
MasterCard British Album
Dizzee Rascal Tongue n’Cheek
Florence & the Machine Lungs
Kasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Lily Allen It’s Not Me, It’s You
Paolo Nutini Sunny Side Up
(Winner selected by UK Commercial Radio listeners)
Alesha Dixon Breathe Slow
Alexandra Burke Ft Flo Rida Bad Boys
Cheryl Cole Fight For This Love
Joe McElderry The Climb
JLS Beat Again
La Roux In For The Kill
Lily Allen The Fear
Pixie Lott Mama Do
Taio Cruz Break Your Heart
Tinchy Stryder Ft N-Dubz Number 1
BRITs Performance of Past 30 Years
Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive/How Deep is Your Love (1997)
Bros I Owe you Nothing (1989)
Coldplay Clocks (2003)
Eurythmics & Stevie Wonder Angel (1999)
Girls Aloud The Promise (2009)
Kanye West Gold Digger (2006)
Kylie Minogue Can’t Get You Out of my Head (2002)
Michael Jackson Earth Song (1996)
Paul McCartney Live & Let Die (2008)
Pet Shop Boys Go West (1994)
Robbie Williams & Tom Jones The Full Monty Medley (1998)
Scissor Sisters Take Your Mama (2005)
Spice Girls Wannabe/Who Do You Think You Are (1997)
Take That Beatles Medley - I Wanna Hold Your Hand/Hard Day’s Night/ She Loves Me (1994)
The Who Who Are You (1988)
International Male Solo Artist
International Female Solo Artist
International Breakthrough Act
(Top 5 selected by Voting Academy; winner chosen by MTV viewers)
Empire of the Sun
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D.
Empire of the Sun Walking on a Dream
Jay-Z The Blueprint
Lady Gaga The Fame