Brit Awards: Raye breaks record as women dominate 2024 nominations

Singer-songwriter Raye has received seven Brit Award nominations, a new record for one artist in a single year.

She has overtaken Craig David, Gorillaz and Robbie Williams, who previously held the joint record with six each.

Raye’s nominations include one for artist of the year, a category in which six of the 10 nominees are female.

That is in stark contrast to last year, when there was an all-male best artist line-up after the merging of the best British male and female categories.

Following criticism, Brits organisers have expanded the artist of the year category from five to 10 slots this year.

The result is nominations for Raye, Jessie Ware, Olivia Dean, Little Simz, Arlo Parks and Dua Lipa, alongside male artists Dave, Central Cee, J Hus and Fred Again.

The split is even more pronounced in international artist of the year, where Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo are among eight female nominees in the 10-strong category.

Capaldi and Sheeran snubbed

Instead, some high-profile men have been snubbed this year – with Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi both missing out on recognition in the artist of the year and album of the year categories.

Sheeran released two albums during the Brits’ eligibility period, both of which reached number one. Capaldi also topped the chart with his second album Broken by Desire to be Heavenly Sent.

However, both did score nominations for song of the year – Sheeran for Eyes Closed, and Capaldi for Wish You The Best.

25 November 2023; Singer Ed Sheeran at the 3Arena in Dublin.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Ed Sheeran missed out on best album and best artist nods despite releasing two records during the eligibility period

Raye’s other nominations include best album, best new artist, best pop act and two in the best song category – Escapism, featuring US rapper 070 Shake, and Prada, a collaboration with Casso and D-Block Europe.

The success is further vindication for the south London singer, who complained in 2021 that her major label was refusing to release her debut album, so put it out independently instead.

“As far as the industry was concerned, I was down and out,” Raye said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I think that trying again would mean seven Brit nominations!”

Overall, 55% of the nominations feature women, either as solo acts or part of an all-female group. The figure rises to 57% if mixed-gender groups are included.

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown, chair of music industry body the BPI, said it was “wonderful to see the representation in the nominees”.

“The [artist of the year] category being expanded helps to showcase the music we’ve had this year, but it has been a great year for women as well,” she said.

“It was important for us to listen to our critical friends, and learn, and I think you’ll see that’s been reflected this year. But we need to keep listening and learning and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Elsewhere, The Rolling Stones have scored their first nomination in a decade in best rock act – a category that will be voted on via Instagram.

Rolling Stones band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood attend a launch event for their new album "Hackney Diamonds", at Hackney Empire in London, Britain, September 6, 2023.IMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
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The Rolling Stones are nominated for best rock act following the release of their latest album Hackney Diamonds
Mahalia is a guest on Radio 1's Clara Amfo show in NBH on Tuesday 4 April 2023
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Mahalia is nominated for best new artist as well as best R&B act, a new category this year

A new genre category, best R&B act, has been announced this year. It will sit alongside the existing categories for alternative/rock, dance, pop and hip-hop/grime/rap.

The inaugural nominees in the new category, which has a 24-month eligibility period to allow more submissions, are Cleo Sol, Jorja Smith, Mahalia, Sault and Raye, who is also listed in the pop category.

Raye, Young Fathers, Little Simz, Blur and J Hus are all up for the prestigious album of the year prize.

Female rock group The Last Dinner Party have already been announced as the recipients of this year’s rising star prize.

The Brits’ voting body is made up of around 1,300 members from across the music industry.

Dua Lipa is also the first artist to be confirmed to perform at the ceremony, which will take place in London on 2 March.

Nominations in the three biggest categories are:

Little Simz performs during the Music Industry Trust Awards 2022 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on November 07, 2022 in London, EnglandIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Little Simz’s nominations include album and artist of the year

Artist of the year

  • Arlo Parks
  • Central Cee
  • Dave
  • Dua Lipa
  • Fred again..
  • J Hus
  • Jessie Ware
  • Little Simz
  • Olivia Dean
  • Raye

Group of the year

  • Blur
  • Chase & Status
  • Headie One & K-Trap
  • Jungle
  • Young Fathers

Album of the Year

  • Blur – The Ballad of Darren
  • J Hus – Beautiful And Brutal Yard
  • Little Simz – No Thank You
  • Raye – My 21st Century Blues
  • Young Fathers – Heavy Heavy

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