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BRITS REVAMPED

The BRIT Awards has had a major shake-up ahead of its 40th show in 2020. The number of awards will be reduced to nine from 14 to make space for more live music, there will be no public vote, and artists will be given greater creative control of their performances.

 

The changes arrive as UMG U.K. chief David Joseph takes charge of the ceremony as Chairman of The BRITs Committee, following in the footsteps of Sony U.K. boss Jason Iley who has spent the last three years in the role. 

The International Group and Artist Video awards have been scrapped, and there will be no special achievement gongs, which this year included British Producer of the Year, Global Success and Outstanding Contribution. 

British Breakthough Act has been replaced by Best New Artist, Rising Star replaces Critics' Choice, and British Single is now Song of the Year. 

"We have had a fresh look at the BRIT Awards this year,” Joseph said. “Most importantly we will be putting creativity, British culture and exceptional performances at the heart of the show to make BRITs night a world class celebration. The awards should be a global platform for the artists of the year to create moments that live beyond the night itself. We are looking at everything to put on the best possible show." 

The other categories remain: Male and Female Solo Artist, Best Group, Mastercard Album of the Year, and International Male and Female Solo Artist. All winners will be decided by a 2020 Voting Academy which, reviewed annually, is made up of around 1,200 experts from all areas of music throughout the U.K., including artists, retailers, promoters, agents, publishers, labels, producers and media.

For the inaugural Rising Star Award, the panel of music editors and critics plus heads of music at major radio and music TV stations that decided Critics' Choice has been expanded to include more tastemakers—songwriters, producers and live bookers—who work with new talent on a regular basis. The recipient of the award will get a performance slot on the main show, and it's open to British artists who have not yet achieved either a recording in the Official Charts U.K. Top 20 Artist Album Chart, or two recordings in the Top 20 Singles Chart.

For the ceremony, artists won't have any creative limitations on their performances, and are being encouraged to "create and curate their own unique moments."

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI and BRIT Awards Ltd.,  added: "It's always exciting to launch the next BRITs campaign, but it's extra special to be announcing the 40th edition of the awards show. The BRITs Committee will endeavour to make the 2020 BRITs a truly landmark event, highlighting not only another remarkable 12 months in the British music year to a growing global audience, but also paying tribute to many unforgettable BRITs moments that are now part of a rich and much loved heritage."

Taking place 2/18 at London's O2 Arena, the awards will be broadcast live on ITV.

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