The Brit Awards 2024: who will win and who should win on UK music's biggest night

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

Learn from Madonna’s mistakes and securely fasten your capes ready for The Brits, everyone – the UK’s biggest night in music kicks off tomorrow at The O2,and it’s officially time to start making some predictions.

After a number of controversies around diversity in recent years, 2024’s nominations feel quite promising. Following Mahalia’s statement jacket last year as a protest against the awards’ decision to merge pop and R&B into a single category ‒ “Long Live R&B” it read in black spray paint ‒ the two distinct genres have finally been separated, which is long overdue.

Though the ceremony made a drastic change two years ago and binned off its gendered award categories, the move backfired when the following year’s Artist of the Year line-up ended up being a total sausage-fest.

Even its eventual winner Harry Styles remarked on the disparity. “I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight,” he said, dedicating his win to just five women who arguably deserved to be up against him in the first place. “So this award is for Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel and Becky.” Happily, this year’s nominations paint a different, less male-dominated picture.

Album of the year

Two huge omissions tower over this category: despite being two of the biggest-selling artists in the UK, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi don’t get a look in, and in fact they’ve been snubbed this year pretty much across the entire board. Though slightly less glaring, there’s also a disappointing lack of PJ Harvey on offer here.

Who should win: Little Simz’s NO THANK YOU deserves to absolutely run away with this one, but I suspect it’ll lose out to Raye’s debut.

Artist of the year

Dominating this year’s Brits with a record seven nominations in one year, it’s no real surprise to see Raye in the mix here; she’s one of the most talked-about artists right now after escaping major label constraints to go independent. This one could well end up being a walk in the park for the south London artist, but her main contenders will be Central Cee, Dave, and the seemingly omnipresent Fred Again..

Who should win: Raye feels like a decent top choice for this one, though my heart will always back Jessie Ware.

Song of the Year

As a by-product of the Brits eligibility criteria, this inexplicably massive category often ends up being ‘a long list of songs that lots of people listened to this year’ ‒ but the problem is that popularity does not mean something is actually any good. The public voted Ekin-Su out of Dancing On Ice, remember. We simply cannot be trusted. Sprinter is a banger, though.

Who should win: I wouldn’t be mad at a victory for Dance The Night, Escapism, Boy’s A Liar, or Firebabe, but Sprinter deserves to pinch the top spot.

Group of the Year

Gender diversity seemingly doesn’t matter as much in the band categories. Admittedly, this year has been light on eligible UK bands with female members, but it would’ve been nice to see a bit of love for Black Honey. Boo, hiss.

Who should win: Jungle or Young Fathers both feel like great picks.

Best New Artist

To state the obvious here, none of these artists are particularly new. Raye released her debut single I, U, Us all the way back in 2016, Mahalia has been around for nine years by now, Olivia Dean for five, and PinkPantheress won BBC’s Sound Of poll two years ago.

Who should win: Jazz drummer Yussef Dayes – who released a debut solo album in 2023 after years of unsung collaborations - is the only name here with true new music credentials.

International Artist of the Year

Easily one of this year’s toughest categories, there are plenty of deserving winners in the mix here, but it’d be especially vindicating to see Lana Del Rey take it home after none of her five Grammy nods translated into a win. It’s also a pleasant surprise to see the Irish artist CMAT ‒ currently in the middle of a well-overdue breakthrough moment with her brilliant second album Crazymad, for Me ‒ up against heavyweight stars like Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Olivia Rodrigo.

Who should win: Tricky one to call, but SZA’s luxurious and expansive album SOS is easily the most innovative release to come from the lot over the last year.

International song of the year

Firstly, can we please address the glittery elephant lurking ominously in the corner: where on earth is Padam Padam? Despite Kylie Minogue’s euro-dance hit being the definitive banger of last summer, it’s nowhere to be seen here. Setting that disgraceful injustice aside, Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For ‒ the ballad that closes Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film ‒ could be the song that claims victory after winning the Song of the Year Grammy last month. SZA’s Kill Bill, Doja Cat’s Paint The Town Red, and Tate McRae’s ridiculously earwormy greedy feel like they could be contenders, too.

Who should win: The South African artist Tyla would be a great choice - her amapiano anthem Water has been inescapable for the last year.

International Group of the Year

Aside from the Elton John-approved Gabriels (frontman Jacob Lusk was a guest during his Glastonbury headline show) this international category is fairly heavy on the devil-horns and dominated by rock. Between latest album This Is Why and a joyful gig at the Brits venue The O2 last year, Paramore could well clinch it, but it seems likely Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker have this one in the bag.

Who should win: Boygenius. Look, I know they’ve gone on hiatus, but maybe a Brit award would tempt them back?


Broadly speaking, the Brits seem to have learned their lesson after forgetting to nominate a single woman for Artist of the Year – whoopsie! – but it seems that generosity doesn’t extend to another blokevilles line-up. Still, it’s great to see the super talented Yussef Dayes getting a shout-out here.

Who should win: Hot on the heels of 2023’s exceptional release Heavy Heavy, Young Fathers would be very worthy victors indeed.


Another strong category. Sprinters co-collaborators Dave and Central Cee have both made the cut after releasing the year’s biggest-selling debut together; they’re up against Afroswing pioneer J Hus, mysterious masked rapper CASISDEAD, and the wildly prolific Little Simz, who put out her surprise EP Drop 7 just a few weeks ago.

Who should win: Little Simz might just manage to break away from the rest of the talented pack.


This one will most likely be a shoo-in for Fred Again.. and his widely beloved brand of earnest voice-notes playing over the top of pounding rave music. Becky Hill and Calvin Harris feel like quite predictable nods on the pop side of proceedings, but Scottish DJ/producer and former fishmonger Barry Can’t Swim feels like a welcome curveball.

Who should win: Romy ‒ The xx member’s beat-heavy solo era just keeps on gaining more momentum.


A slightly weird selection this year, largely guided by hit singles: only Olivia Dean and Raye have released new albums within this year’s eligibility window, Dua Lipa is only just getting started with her new record, and Charli XCX is also between eras at the moment. As for Calvin Harris, his Ellie Goulding collab Miracle was an undeniable smash, but isn’t he more of a dance star?

Who should win: Raye is the only name here that has really dominated the conversation around pop over the last year.


While R&B previously was sidelined at the Brits and lumped in with pop, splitting the old category into two distinct genres has proven a smart call. We’re left with a far stronger representation of one of the UK's leading scenes, which is currently flourishing, as a result.

Who should win: The enigmatic collective Sault, who are currently doing everything in their power to break all of the usual music industry rules.