Story: Jack Foley
THEY may have missed out on the Christmas number one spot, but
2003 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year for The Darkness.
Having dominated the airwaves last year, the band have now dominated
the shortlist for the 2004 Brit Awards, which seek to recognise
last year's greatest performers.
The band gained no less than four mentions on Monday (January
12, 2004), for best British group, best album, best rock act and
British breakthrough act.
The year's biggest selling solo artist, Dido, and Mercury Music
Prize winner, Dizzee Rascal, follow close behind with three nominations
each, as do (woefully) Daniel Bedingfield and Busted.
Dido is nominated for best British album, for her massive-selling,
Life for Rent, as well as best British single, for White Flag,
and best British female artist.
Dizzee Rascal, meanwhile, will contest the best British breakthrough
act, British urban act and British male categories, although in
the latter, he will be pitted against Badly Drawn Boy, David Bowie,
Will Young and Bedingfield.
Dido joins newcomer, Amy Winehouse, in the best British female
award, along with R&B star Jamelia, veteran Annie Lennox,
and Sophie Ellis Bextor.
Curiously, there is no mention of Posh Spice, who recently confirmed
that she intends to turn down the opportunity of being a presenter
Of the international contingent, Justin Timberlake and Christina
Aguilera lead the nominations field, appearing on the male and
female artist shortlists, as well as vying for the international
Both are also in the best pop act category, which is open to
both UK and overseas performers.
Still on the international front, Beyonce Knowles has two nominations,
as do The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent
and Sean Paul.
The keenly-contested best album prize will be fought for by The
Darkness (Permission to Land), Dido (Life for Rent), Blur's Think
Tank (our favourite), The Coral's Magic and Medicine and Daniel
Bedingfield's Gotta Get Thru This.
Rock artists feature far more prominently this year than other
years, thanks to the success of high-profile bands such as The
Hence, Radiohead, The Coral and The Darkness will battle it out
(and hopefully win) against the likes of Busted and (to a lesser
extent) the Sugababes, in the best British group category.
Let's just hope that rock 'n' roll prevails on the night, and
that genuine songwriters can score a triumph over the manufactured,
Pop Idols contingent.
The nominations were announced in London ahead of the awards
ceremony at Earl's Court on February 17.