The Darkness lead the nominations for the 2004 Brit Awards, with four mentions on the shortlist.
The Darkness were the success story of the year in the rock world
The rock band are up for best British group, best album, best rock act and British breakthrough act.
Singer Dido and hip-hop newcomer Dizzee Rascal, who won the Mercury prize, both have three nominations each, as do Daniel Bedingfield and Busted.
The shortlist was announced in London ahead of the awards ceremony at Earl's Court on 17 February.
Send us your views on the Brit award shortlist
Dido is nominated for best British album for Life for Rent, British single for White Flag, and best British female artist.
Dizzee Rascal is shortlisted for best British breakthrough act, British urban act and British male.
Dido has three Brit nominations
Rascal, whose real name is Dylan Mills, competes against Badly Drawn Boy, Bedingfield, David Bowie and Will Young in the British male category.
Dido joins downtempo newcomer Amy Winehouse in the British female shortlist, along with R&B star Jamelia, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Annie Lennox.
Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera lead the international nominations, with mentions in the international male and female artist shortlists, as well as the international album award. Both are also in the best pop act category - open to both UK and overseas performers.
Beyonce Knowles has two nominations, as does Sean Paul, The White Stripes, 50 Cent, Kings of Leon and Black Eyed Peas.
This year's best British rock act category is new to the Brits, and joining the Darkness on the shortlist are Feeder, Muse, Primal Scream and Stereophonics.
Which band should win best British group at the Brits?
The Coral 7.80%
The Darkness 54.23%
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
The coveted best album prize will be fought for by The Darkness, Dido, Daniel Bedingfield's Gotta Get Thru This, Blur's Think Tank, and Liverpool band The Coral's Magic and Medicine.
Vocalist Lemar, who came to prominence on BBC talent show Fame Academy, has two nominations - one for British breakthrough artist, the other in British urban act.
'Revitalisation of rock'
Lemar said he was delighted with the way his career had taken off.
"So far so good. I am just going to keep going," he told BBC News 24.
The urban star had words of praise for fellow nominees The Darkness.
"They are heavy and are what music is all about. They done a lot for the revitalisation of rock music."
Another talent show product, Will Young, has a single nomination for best British male - while the man who was runner-up to him on ITV1's Pop Idol, Gareth Gates, is nominated for best British single for his charity cover version of Spirit In The Sky, featuring the stars of The Kumars at No 42.
Pop-punk boy band Busted round off a spectacular 12 months - which has seen them enjoy four top three hits - with their trio of nominations, including best British group.
The trio face a heavyweight line-up of Radiohead, The Coral, The Darkness, as well as girl group Sugababes.
Pop stars Busted are also leading contenders
Daniel Bedingfield's trio of nominations will cheer the London-based performer as he recovers from a car crash in New Zealand on New Year's Eve.
He damaged vertebrae in his neck when his Jeep Cherokee rolled over on a rural road as he was driving from a music festival near Whangarei.
Bedingfield is unlikely to attend the Brits, as he planned to stay in the country for three months to recuperate.
This year's Brits come after a successful year for the British music industry as a whole.
The UK remains the third biggest market for music behind the US and Japan - and the number of new albums sent to retailers in July, August and September 2003 reached an
all-time high of 230 million.
Seems a fair old line up. The Darkness will no doubt fade into obscurity after the event. Shame 'cause they have been a breath of fresh air to British music. What has Annie Lenox done in the last 12 months to deserve a nomination for best British female?
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What do you think of the Brits shortlist? Are the awards too commercial or have they given equal recognition to all pop and rock music genres?
Tell us what you think.
I'm glad to hear of The Darkness' success this year. They can play, they can write and they most certainly know how to perform!!! They are an excellent example of British talent and deserve all the success and credit they get!!!!
Lee, Northants, UK
Andie, Leeds, UK
2003 saw the release of albums like 'Cast of Thousands' by Elbow, 'Ether Song' by Turin Brakes and not to mention the second 'Best of' Album by R.E.M., and yet it's the pop puppets, novelty mock rock acts and the bi-products of televised talent shows that dominate the music scene. It's disgusting - real musicians don't get the recognition they deserve, and the Brits reflect that beautifully!!
Richard, Co. Down, N. Ireland
I think the Darkness are the best Spinal Tap tribute band going.
Jane Turvey, London, UK
Well the only things I'm pleased about is Goldfrapp and of course the truly wondrous, and clearly BEST pop band I know - Duran Duran.
Good on you boys, glad to see you back in action, can't wait to hear your new Nile Rodgers produced album and looking forward to some fine gigs in April!
The nominations shortlist this year has proved fairly reflective of British and international music success over this past year. I think it is justified for the nominations for Dido and Will Young. International nominations are spot on. Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Christina have contributed a lot to pop this year. Outkast and The White Stripes are also reputable nominations. The mix of genres seem fair this year, it has been a big year for rock, and I think the shortlist shows that the Brits are not all about pop.
Jon H, Herts, UK
I think Damien Rice should win the international male artist as his debut album is outstanding and his voice and lyrics are completely unique. Also the Darkness should do well but I think someone like Ozzy Osbourne should be up for the outstanding contribution.
Once again The Brits have shown how out of touch they are. The Darkness are a novelty act whose appeal ran out several months ago. To nominate them in the best band category is ludicrous. And just don't get me started on Busted! At least the dance category is slightly more credible this year with Goldfrapp and Lemon Jelly in contention.
Clara S, Glasgow
It says a lot about the state of British music when Annie Lennox is still a shoe-in for a nomination in the best female category.
Gavin Wilson, Oxford
The Darkness are the biggest pile of rubbish I've ever heard. Having been a rock/metal fan for 15 years, I've heard hundreds of bands, been to loads of gigs...
More the point, the best current rock band on the planet - Creed - are almost ignored over here. Get a life.
Yankee Doodle, UK
Finally, the best British rock category becomes a reality.
Alastair, Rotherham, UK
The point in question is not really about covering musical genres - it is about recognising musical success and talent. "Bands" like Busted and the Sugababes should, in my opinion, never win awards as they are simply puppets for songwriters and an industry based around the exploitation of 11 year-olds. Give recognition to music composed and performed by real people, such as the Darkness, with the ability to emote and enthuse - no matter what the genre.
Uri, London, England
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