Dance music has seldom fared very well at the Brits, the UK music industry's annual awards show. Indeed, the Brits did away with the Best British Dance Act category a few years ago, but this year it appears that dance music is back to bite the mainstream music industry on the backside.
Garage brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, aka Disclosure, are up for four awards, and are expected to bag at least one. The guys are up for Best Group and Best Breakthrough Act, as well as the Best Single and Best Album gongs, and are also playing live at tonight's awards ceremony in tandem with global singing phenomenon Lorde from New Zealand — who they have yet to meet. They have apparently been working out their duet over Skype, thanks to the wonders of the internet.
Rudimental are also up for Best Group, as well as Best Album and Best Single for 'Waiting All Night' (below), and the Hackney-originated, Black Butter-signed collective will be disappointed if they don't walk away with something from tonight. Rudimental are also playing at the ceremony.
Calvin Harris is up for Best Single and Best Video, although the Scottish EDM producer faces stiff competition from boy band One Direction and Ellie Goulding in both categories. Post-dubstep composer James Blake is up for Best Male Solo Artist, while Daft Punk are nominated for International Group — and will surely take that over indie-rock bands Kings Of Leon and Arcade Fire.
Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, who starred in Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' single — the biggest worldwide single of last year by far — have been confirmed to be playing a medley of tracks at the awards. Whether this is with or without the helmeted Frenchmen will remain a secret right up to broadcast.
A sort of UK equivalent to the Grammys, but with less categories, the Brit Awards started in the early '80s to shine a light on British acts in the global music scene. Initially called the BPI Awards, it started to be broadcast live but was widely ridiculed in 1989 after monumental cock-ups by presenters Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood.
It has been hit or miss in terms of credibility ever since, generally rewarding the most commercially successful in rock & pop, but maybe this year will be different? Who do you think will be amongst the winners tonight?
The Brit Awards are broadcast live on ITV tonight at 8pm, and are also being streamed live on YouTube. See the full set of nominations here
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