Will Craig David get Brit Awards glory tonight?
Craig David says his return to the Brits has been a “rollercoaster ride”.
Sixteen years after being first nominated for best British male solo artist, the singer is again back in contention for one of music’s biggest honours tonight – up against Skepta, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka and David Bowie.
Craig David said: “To be absolutely honest, to be in amongst the amazing artists, I’m just really honoured to be a part of it and to be back at the Brits.”
The singer’s career has come full circle. Over a decade ago he went from being one of the biggest pop stars in Britain, to being mercilessly ridiculed by comedy show Bo’ Selecta!
Since then he has, to an extent, kept his head down. He moved to Miami – but David says he has always missed making music in the UK. Last year, he returned to London to make his latest album, Following My Intuition, and hasn’t looked back since.
The garage star says he’ll be most pleased to be at the Brits with his parents: “What I’m really excited about is having my management team around me, my mum and dad next to me, and us just having a really good night.
“I’m more excited for them to be a part of this because I know my mum and dad have been through so much of the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on, to have them next to me and for them to enjoy the night, whatever happens, to see their faces light up. That makes me happy.”
This year’s nominees are certainly a more accurate reflection of Britain’s diverse music scene.
Last year, Skepta labelled the Brits “embarrassing” for its lack of diversity, but this year he’s leading the field with three nominations – the same number as girl group Little Mix.
The grime artist is up for British breakthrough act, British male solo artist and British album.
Since last year’s #BritsSoWhite debate, there’s been a major shake-up to the Brits Voting Academy. Just over 700 new members have been invited to join – including more women and more ethnic minorities.
David Bowie died two days after releasing his 25th album Blackstar, but his music made such an impact it has earned the artist two posthumous nominations for British album of the year and British male solo artist.
Leonard Cohen, who died in November, is also nominated for international male solo artist – up against Bon Iver, Drake, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd.
Music journalist Andy Welch says their inclusion is by no means a “pity vote”.
He told Sky News: “The interesting thing about both Bowie and Cohen is the two records they released within the qualifying period are among the best in their careers – so it’s no pity vote, no sympathy thing, they definitely deserve to be there. And there’s an argument that even if they hadn’t passed away they would be worthy nominees anyway.
“They could win. I have a feeling that The 1975 will win best album and Drake will win best male – just my personal predictions – but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if one of them won. If they did, they would be worthy winners.”
The show itself, which is taking place at the O2 Arena, is being presented by Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis.
Both were brought in as last-minute replacements for Michael Buble. The singer had to pull out of presenting duties to care for his son Noah, who is battling liver cancer.
Katy Perry will be performing, as will Ed Sheeran.
One winner we already know about is Robbie Williams.
The singer is being given this year’s Brit Icon award, which means he’ll join the ranks of Elton John and David Bowie who’ve received the prestigious honour in previous years.
No stranger to the Brits, Williams already has 17 statuettes from his music as a solo artist and as part of Take That.