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BRITS GET READY
FOR THE BRITS

The U.K. music business is gearing up for the BRIT Awards on Wednesday as Sony U.K. boss Jason Iley looks forward to resting after a second year organising the show as Chairman during a successful 12 months for the British music industry.

The ceremony at London's O2 Arena is designed to have as global a reach as possible and will be live-streamed on YouTube from 7:30pm GMT (2:30pm ET/11:30am PT) and screened on ITV in the U.K. For the first time, the event will be covered live on every social media platform.

In an interview with Music Week, Iley notes the “incredibly strange” lack of nomination for Sam Smith, who will perform on the night, and says he’d like to see wider support for the ceremony in future.

“I would like other areas to embrace the BRITs in the same way companies like Spotify do in America [for the Grammys]. I’d like to see where we can broaden things out, make more of a London event for the show and grow the brand and identity.” Next year is Iley’s last as Chairman, which he notes could very well be a full-time job (though he’s very happy in his seat at Sony).

There has been a debate over trade body BPI, the ceremony’s organisers, asking guests to wear a white rose as a symbol of solidarity in the global fight against sexual harassment. There aren't any topical speeches or performances planned, with Iley preferring to leave “artists and presenters freedom to exercise this right on the night."

So who’s likely to win awards? In the big categories, we’ve got money on Ed Sheeran (Atlantic) as British Male Solo Artist, and Dua Lipa (Warner Bros.) as Female. Might J Hus (Black Butter) win Breakthrough, and Stormzy Album of the Year? Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” which spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at #1, could very well be Single of the Year. That would result in four big wins for Warner if you’re counting ADA-distributed and now Atlantic-signed Stormzy. 

 

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