BRIT Awards 2016: The Nominees & The Likely Winners


As the BRIT Awards return to our screens, we look at all the nominees, all the likely winners (besides Adele!) and ask the old question: where has British rock'n'roll gone?

Brit Awards blog

There's no question that Adele will dominate the BRIT Awards 2016 ceremony, which takes place tonight - after all, she's the biggest phenomenon in British music for a very long time, and by far the most successful artist of the past 12 months. It seems that, once again, British rock'n'roll will take the back seat. With all due respect to the hugely talented Adele, some of us will miss the days when bands such as Oasis, Blur, Manic Street Preachers or even The Darkness could still set the tone of the evening and dominate the UK charts... but the truth is, the BRIT Awards 2016 are likely to be more or less the same they've always been like since 1982 - celebrating the more mainstream and radio-friendly acts, which in 2016 means less rock, and more acoustic and electronic acts.

james Bay Gibson & Epiphone - playing James Bay could win a BRIT

But a few nominees who've brought guitars to the forefront of their sound might actually have a chance to win, such as Wolf Alice, James Bay and Foals, so it'll be an interesting night. Other more rock'n'roll highlights include international nominees: the neo-psychedelia of Rickenbacker-playing Tame Impala makes them a favourite for Best International Group, and Fender-endorsed grunge-rocker Courtney Barnett has been nominated for Best International Female.

BRIT AWARDS - A Brief History

The Brits have been taking place yearly since 1982, and have never been known to praise the more avant-guard side of music. Past winners include Barbra Streisand, Cliff Richards, Annie Lennox and Phil Collins. It was known as a safe celebration of the most respected avatars of British music. It didn't court controversy... but eventually, controversy would seek the BRITs, such as in 1992, when ex-Echo & The Bunnymen manager Bill Drummond, performing with his band the KLF, used an automatic rifle to shoot blanks at the audience:

KLF at Brit Awards 1992 Bill Drummond of KLF at the Brit Awards 1992

Bill later dumped a dead sheep with the message: "I died for ewe – bon appetit" tied around its waist, at the entrance of the after party. It was a sign things would soon change, the the following year, Suede ushered a new era in British music with a sometimes messy performance of 'Animal Nitrate'. Bret Anderson prancing about in woman's shirt and Bernard Butler ripping on his Gibson ES-355 and Vox AC-30 was one of the most rock'n'roll thing to hit the Brits, up until that point!

Two years later, Blur won Best Group and Best Album, while Oasis won Best Breakthrough, and the Britpop era was officially in full swing. The following year, with Oasis winning the top prizes, being raucous and urging people to vote Labour, it did seem things had changed for good. That and Jarvis Cocker storming Michael Jackson's set seemed to point out to a new era for the BRITs.

Oasis at the Brit Awards 1996 Oasis at the Brit Awards 1996

The following years, the Manic Street Preachers managed to win the top awards twice, and The Verve were also winners of the two main categories. But since the turn of the century, the BRITs have taken a turn to more sedate choices, with few prizes going to guitar bands such as Kasabian or, more remarkably, the Arctic Monkeys, who won Best Group and Best Album three times! But Alex Turner's ironic acceptance speech in 2014 was proof that rock'n'roll was still alive. And with Royal Blood winning Best Group the following year, maybe Turner was right, after all!

BRIT Awards 2016: The Nominees (with updated winners)


  • Adele - 'Hello'
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples - 'How Deep Is Your Love'
  • Ed Sheeran - 'Photograph'
  • Ellie Goulding - 'Love Me Like You Do'
  • Jessie J - 'Flashlight'
  • Little Mix - 'Black Magic'
  • Naughty Boy Ft. Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin - 'Runnin' (Lose It All)'
  • One Direction - 'Drag Me Down' (WINNER)
  • Sam Smith - 'Writing's On The Wall'
  • Years & Years - 'King'

Favourite to win: Adele |Could win: Ed Sheeran | Should Win: Ed Sheeran


  • Catfish And The Bottlemen (WINNER)
  • James Bay
  • Jess Glynne
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Favourite to win: James Bay | Could win: Catfish And The Bottlemen | Should Win: Wolf Alice


  • Aphex Twin
  • Calvin Harris
  • James Bay (WINNER)
  • Jamie xx
  • Mark Ronson

Favourite to win: James Bay | Could win: Jamie XX | Should Win: James Bay


  • Blur
  • Coldplay (WINNER)
  • Foals
  • One Direction
  • Years & Years

Favourite to win: Coldplay | Could win: Foals | Should Win: Foals


  • Charlie Andrew (WINNER)
  • Mark Ronson
  • Mike Crossey
  • Tom Dalgety

Favourite to win: Mark Ronson| Could win: Mike Crossey | Should Win: Mike Crossey


  • Adele - 'Hello' (WINNER)
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples - 'How Deep Is Your Love'
  • Ed Sheeran & Rudimental - 'Bloodstream'
  • Ellie Goulding - 'Love Me Like You Do'
  • James Bay - 'Hold Back The River'
  • Jess Glynne - 'Hold My Hand'
  • Little Mix - 'Black Magic'
  • Olly Murs ft. Demi Lovato - 'Up'
  • Philip George - 'Wish You Were Mine'
  • Years & Years - 'King'

Favourite to win: Adele| Could win: it's Adele's! | Should Win: James Bay


  • Adele - '25' (WINNER)
  • Coldplay - 'A Head Full of Dreams'
  • Florence + the Machine - 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful'
  • James Bay - 'Chaos and the Calm'
  • Jamie xx - 'In Colour'

Favourite to win: Adele| Could win: Adele, only! | Should Win: Jamie XX


  • Drake
  • Father John Misty
  • Justin Bieber (WINNER)
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • The Weeknd

Favourite to win: Kendrick Lamar| Could win: Drake | Should Win: Father John Misty


  • Ariana Grande
  • Björk (WINNER)
  • Courtney Barnett
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Meghan Trainor

Favourite to win: Lana Del Rey| Could win: Björk | Should Win: Courtney Barnett


  • Alabama Shakes
  • Eagles of Death Metal
  • Major Lazer
  • Tame Impala (WINNER)
  • U2

Favourite to win: Tame Impala| Could win: Eagles of Death Metal | Should Win: Tame Impala

BRIT Awards 2016: Spotify Playlist

And who are YOUR favourites? Place a comment and let us know!

Watch the BRIT Awards live tonight 8PM on ITV

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