Dua Lipa leads Brits shortlist as women dominate album category for first time

Rap, grime and drill artists also feature heavily among the 2021 nominees.

Dua Lipa once again leads the nominations at the Brit Awards, with the coveted album category dominated by women for the first time.

The 25-year-old was among the stars who secured three nods – best female solo act, best single for Physical and best album for Future Nostalgia.

Lipa earned four nominations in 2019 and the previous year scored five – one more than Ed Sheeran received that year.

Rising stars Arlo Parks and Celeste, rap duo Young T & Bugsey and DJ and producer Joel Corry all also received three nods.

Singer and poet Parks, 20, whose debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams was released in January to critical acclaim, was nominated for female solo artist, breakthrough artist and best album.

Soul singer Celeste, 26, who was crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound Of 2020, is tapped in the same three categories.

Jessie Ware, dance music duo Bicep and rappers AJ Tracey, J Hus and Headie One all scored two nominations apiece.

Graham Norton Show – London
Celeste (Matt Crossick/PA)

Bicep became a surprise success story in January when their trance and rave-inspired second album Isles went to number two.

For the first time, the album of the year category was dominated by female acts, with four of the five slots taken by women.

Collapsed In Sunbeams by Parks, Not Your Muse by Celeste, Future Nostalgia by Lipa and Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure? all received nods.

Rapper J Hus was the only male act to feature, with his critically acclaimed second album Big Conspiracy.

Rap, grime and drill artists also feature heavily on the 2021 shortlist, with artists such as Headie One, who has been referred to as the King Of Drill, J Hus and Young T & Bugsey making strong entries.

Top Boy UK Premiere – London
Headie One (Ian West/PA)

Elsewhere, there is an especially strong international female solo artist category featuring Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.

K-pop supergroup BTS also received their first Brit Award nomination in the international group category.

Harry Styles secured one nomination in the singles category for Watermelon Sugar, which also won the Grammy for best pop solo performance earlier this month.

The nominations were announced by Nick Grimshaw and this year’s rising star winner Griff across the Brit Awards social media channels on Wednesday.

Brit Awards 2018 – Show – London
Jack Whitehall at the 2018 Brit Awards (Victoria Jones/PA)

Jack Whitehall is returning for a fourth time to host the awards show, which is due to take place on May 11 at London’s O2 Arena.

The awards are voted for by around 1,500 people from across the UK music industry including journalists, record label employees and musicians.

The rising star winner was announced as singer-songwriter Griff earlier this month.

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