LONDON (Reuters) – Singer-songwriter Raye led nominations for the BRIT Awards on Wednesday, setting a new record with seven nominations, while the Rolling Stones and Blur were also recognised for Britain’s pop music honours.
Raye was nominated in the annual awards’ top categories – artist of the year, album of the year for her record “My 21st Century Blues” and song of the year for hit “Escapism”. The 26-year-old also got nods in the genre categories pop act and R&B act as well as for best new artist.
Her seven nominations broke the record for the most nominations by a single artist in any one year, said the organisers, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
“My eyes fill up with tears when we talk about this, it’s too much, it’s really too much. The only way I can describe it is as a miracle. This is deep,” she said in an interview during the nominations announcement.
Raye parted ways with her record label in 2021 to work as an independent artist after she said the label had withheld her debut album.
“A year and a half ago… as far as the industry was concerned, I was down and out. Never in my wildest dreams would I think like trying again would mean seven BRIT nominations,” she said.
Rappers Central Cee and J Hus each got four nominations, with both recognised for artist of the year, a gender neutral category that now includes 10 nominations after organisers doubled the number following an outcry over an-all male list of best artist contenders at last year’s awards.
Completing the list in that category are singers Arlo Parks, Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware and Olivia Dean, rappers Dave and Little Simz and record producer Fred Again.
More than half – 55% – of this year’s nominations feature women – either as a solo artist or as part of an all-woman group, the BPI said.
“It’s also wonderful that women overall have performed so strongly across so many of the awards categories,” BPI Chief Executive Dr Jo Twist and BPI Chair Yolanda Brown said in a joint statement.
“With such an exciting new generation of diverse talent coming through, we hope and will continue to work towards more balanced representation increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception.”
Lipa got three nominations: artist of the year, pop act and song of the year for “Dance The Night” from box office smash “Barbie”.
British band Blur got three nominations, including for album “The Ballad of Darren” – their first since 2015 – as well as for alternative/rock act and group of the year.
The Rolling Stones, who last year released “Hackney Diamonds” – their first album of original material since 2005 and the first recording since drummer Charlie Watts died in 2021 – were nominated for alternative/rock act, their first BRIT nomination in over 10 years.
The gender neutral international artist of the year category also now counts 10 nominees with the likes of Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, SZA, Burna Boy and Kylie Minogue among the contenders.
Indie rock band The Last Dinner Party have already been revealed as winners of the rising star award.
This year’s awards will be handed out on March 2.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Gareth Jones)