British Queen celebrates


In an unprecedented turn of events, singer-songwriter Raye has shattered records with an astounding seven Brit Award nominations, setting a new standard for a single-year achievement.

Surpassing the likes of Craig David, Gorillaz, and Robbie Williams, who each held the joint record with six nominations, Raye's remarkable feat includes recognition in categories such as artist of the year, best album, best new artist, best pop act, and two nominations for best song.

Of particular note is Raye's nomination in the artist of the year category, where six out of the 10 nominees are female. This stands in stark contrast to the previous year, which witnessed an all-male best artist lineup following the amalgamation of the best British male and female categories. Responding to criticism, Brits organizers have expanded the artist of the year category from five to 10 slots, leading to a diverse list of nominees that includes Jessie Ware, Olivia Dean, Little Simz, Arlo Parks, and Dua Lipa alongside male artists Dave, Central Cee, J Hus, and Fred Again.

The international artist of the year category further reflects this gender shift, with Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo among the eight female nominees in the 10-strong category.

This year's nominations also bring a noticeable absence of high-profile male artists, with Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi missing out on recognition in the artist of the year and album of the year categories. Both artists, however, secured nominations for song of the year, with Sheeran's "Eyes Closed" and Capaldi's "Wish You The Best."

Raye's success is a testament to her resilience, having faced challenges in releasing her debut album independently after her major label initially declined. In response to her remarkable nominations, Raye expressed, "Never in my wildest dreams would I think that trying again would mean seven Brit nominations!"

With women making up 55% of the nominations, and 57% when mixed-gender groups are included, the Brit Awards are making strides in acknowledging gender diversity within the music industry. Saxophonist YolanDa Brown, chair of the BPI, highlighted the importance of representation, stating, "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."

The 2024 Brit Awards will feature new categories, including best R&B act, with nominees Cleo Sol, Jorja Smith, Mahalia, Sault, and Raye. The ceremony, set to take place on March 2 in London, promises to be a celebration of the diverse talents that have marked the music landscape over the past year. Photo by Raph_PH, Wikimedia commons.