The BRIT Awards Go Pop

The press and the music industry itself are reacting to yesterday’s BRIT nominations. The big story about the nominations – according to The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, and Billboard – is the return of pop at the BRITs, with Take That, Mika, and Leona Lewis leading the nominations. The Guardian‘s Peter Robinson is somewhat cynical about this “about-face”:

It’s no coincidence that the major labels are all aware that the last two years have seen a huge influx of B-list guitar bands and that the public’s hunger for the next Pigeon Detectives or Hoosiers will soon plateau, if it hasn’t already. Behind the scenes, in an attempt to preempt the public’s next shift in taste, the labels have been looking to develop new pop artists in 2008. Forward-thinking portions of the media have also been hoping to anticipate this bubble bursting – one of Radio One’s missions for 2008 has also been to “pop up” its playlist.

Thank goodness. Outside of a few killer singles, the UK guitar band scene has been supremely dull for a few years now. Glad to see British radio broadening its sonic palette a bit.

Speaking of pop, where is Calvin Harris amongst the nominees for Best British Male Solo Act? I’d easily trade Mark Ronson, a man known primarily for his collaborations, for him. No one had more fun being a pop star in 2007 than Calvin Harris.

The BRITs have also announced who will be performing at the February 20th show: Kaiser Chiefs, Mika, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Mark Ronson, and Outstanding Contribution winner Paul McCartney are all set to take the stage.

In more gossipy news, The Mirror claims there’s a “diva battle” brewing between multiple BRIT nominees Leona Lewis and Kylie Minogue. Ms. Minogue’s favorite designers, Dolce and Gabbana, are reportedly angling to create Ms. Lewis’ gown.

Editors guitarist Chris Urbanowicz tells Gigwise that they have no shot at Best British Band. “We’re up against Girls Aloud, Kaiser Chiefs, Muse, and Take That, roll the credits!” (Actually, they aren’t up against Muse. They are, however, facing two-time BRIT winners Arctic Monkeys.)

In other news:

  • Paul McCartney has written a song about Heather Mills, producer Nitin Sawhney says. “Paul has done a track about how he feels about Heather and what was going on with the paparazzi because no one has heard his side of it at all. It’s a very emotional and a very powerful song – not like anything that people are used to from Paul McCartney.” (Digital Spy)
  • Rumors abound that Kylie Minogue is dating either Paul McCartney or Doctor Who star David Tennant.(Daily Record)
  • Mark Ronson dropped by Amy Winehouse‘s flat last night with a “curious tightly wrapped packet” firmly tucked between his fingers.(Daily Mail)
  • Will The Verve be the next band to “threaten to strike” against EMI? It hasn’t been a very good day over at EMI: the label just cut 2,000 jobs.(Guardian)
  • The boys of Kasabian are almost done with their follow-up to Empire.(NME)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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