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Brit Awards Wednesday, 8 March, 2000, 08:38 GMT
Brit nominations: Hit or miss?
Robbie Williams dominated 1999's Brits
This year, a whole host of acts were in for a chance of grabbing the headlines at this year's Brit Awards. But were they the right ones?

Travis, Macy Gray and Robbie Williams tied for top honours, but before the show, The Chemical Brothers led the pack with four nominations: best British album for Surrender, best British dance act, best British single for Hey Boy, Hey Girl, and best British video for Let Forever Be. They won just the one award, for best British dance act.

Close behind were fellow club acts Fatboy Slim - aka Norman Cook, Zoe Ball's husband - and Basement Jaxx, on three nominations each.

Click here to read a full list of nominees and winners.

Travis struck a blow for guitar rock with three nominations, while their rock comrades Stereophonics had two, and walked away empty-handed.

Most commentators agree it has not been a memorable year for British music, with big names like Oasis, Radiohead, Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls taking it easy during 1999.

In the best British male category, winner Tom Jones and fellow nominees David Bowie, Sting and Van Morrison have all been in pop for at least 20 years. The only contemporary name is Ian Brown - but the former Stone Roses singer is no fresh-faced youth at 37.

Most of the successful newer acts seem to come from other countries, such as Ireland's Boyzone and Westlife, and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera from the US.

Do the Brit Award nominations show a lack of new talent in British music? Or did the Brits judges play it safe by opting for older, established names?

Here's what you said before the ceremony. For your comments after the ceremony, click here.


It could be worse you could be in the US. Thanks to MTV/VH1/US we receive almost no coverage of music outside of US. Additionally, prime time programming here has very little music. We've never seen anything from Blur, Travis, Texas, Chemical Brothers, etc. Even Mi Chico Latino was never shown despite being a hit worldwide. Our only hope is that Santana is a light at the end of the tunnel - music the way it should be. Different kinds of music by people all over the world. Next time people in UK complain about the state of music there, think of us poor folks in US. Meanwhile, demand a wider variety. There should be more to music than rap and pop. Rock, jazz, blues, country, etc. Let's insist on all kinds of music from all over the world.
Woyteck Morajko, Chicago, USA

I think it is a good thing that the Spice Girls are to receive the lifetime achievement award. It is telling today's top performers that pop groups do make a mark on history. I only hope that Geri joins them when they accept this award. She was part of the group when they hit their high note. It would be a shame if she didn't.
Mandi, USA

I've just read the list of nominations, and I must say it is quite depressing. OK, so there are a few good acts, but it's generally an uninspiring bunch (with the exception of people like Van Morrison and Sting). The problem is that there are so many different styles of music that are virtually ignored because we try to lump it all together in too few catagories. If these awards were to recognise really talented musicians (musicians are something that seem to be in very short supply in the charts!!!) we'd have such catagories as "best jazz performance", or "best guitarist" etc...

Another thing that seems to be constantly ignored is the metal scene. It's about time people saw past the stereotypes of big long haired neanderthals singing about death and destruction.

Tristan O'Dwyer, England
Another thing that seems to be constantly ignored (and this is really starting to annoy me) is the metal scene. Here we can find some of the most amazing musicians, writing some very cutting edge music, fusing different styles, and trying new things. I think it's about time people saw past the stereotypes of big long haired neanderthals singing about death and destruction. That's not what metal is about, and it's about time it got recognition for what it actually is. Real music by real musicians.
Tristan O'Dwyer, England

The Brits are all about market share, music as product rather than inspiration, so the stuff that sells will be nominated. Why does it sell? Because radio and TV are obsessed with current fads: if it isn't dance, it won't get played. If it isn't played, no-one will buy it. Look at Macy Gray: million-seller in the UK,hardly anything in the US. Why? It's dance. Santana? Multi-million sales in the US, nothing in the UK. Why? It's not dance, despite its currently fashoinable Latin-based groove. Widen your horizons, guys, there's a load of talent in the UK if you're prepared to look for it.
Adriano, UK

Maybe it's time to drop the 'solo' bit anyway as these people usually have a team of writers, musicians and producers to hand anyway.

Gary Blake, UK
Usually the problem is the best female solo artist - but this year there are very few male solo artists of note. Maybe it's time to drop the 'solo' bit anyway as these people usually have a team of writers, musicians and producers to hand anyway. But, let me also say that Ian Brown has produced one of the most original uplifting albums of the year - one which he has written, played on and produced. Also, Sting has fused North African sounds with contemporary production with self-penned songs and deserves also to be there. I can't really comment on Van Morrison but friends say his new Skiffle album is a breath of fresh air. So, that leaves Tom Jones - doesn't write or produce his songs and in my mind is in the same bucket as Cliff Richard. So please don't lump them all together.
Gary Blake, UK

I like many others only remember the things that go wrong, or right in my opinion. Jarvis Cocker v Michael Jackson, John Prescott v Chumbawumba and Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox v the autocue. Someone should hose down the lot of them.
Mr Benn, UK

It certainly is sad that the lack of musical talent at the show means that probably there will be more coverage of the Spice Girls and Geri's debacle, than the awards themselves. I think there is some good stuff around - All Saints are back, Travis, although a little middle of the road, are in there with a shout. It isn't particularly inspiring though. Where are the Macy Grays, Flaming Lips...? Nothing really exciting this year...boo hoo!
Nic, UK

Lifetime achievement award & Spice Girls. Somehow the two just don't seem to belong together!! I couldn't believe it when I heard they had won this. How can anyone win this award when they have only been around five years? Cliff Richard had been in the music biz for 30 years before they felt he was worthy of it. A lifetime award should be just that - an award given to someone after a lifetime of service to an industry and 30 years is a good start. But five years?? Please ! They do not deserve such an honour. Please stop feeding their already enormous egos.
Kira, USA

The UK music scene is just fine, try living here in Canada, the music scene here sucks.
Julie Holmes, Canada

The Brit awards are in serious danger of becoming as bad as the Smash Hits poll winners party. God save us from mediocrity.
Danny, UK

The calamity of the British music industry can be summed up in 4 syllables - Stereophonics. A year of (bad) covers climaxing in the all time battle of evil - Cliff Vs Westlife for the Xmas No.1. A year of Tom Jones collaborations with insipid lightweights. Do you see that Radiohead light at the end of the tunnel ?
Asif Khan, UK

I think it's the best line-up for a while - nothing really spectacular or original, but a good mix of pop, rock, dance and a few reliable old showmen. I would be personally glad to see the days of the British music industry's cowardly genuflection towards any bunch of blokes with guitars come to an deserved end.
Tom, UK

I would be personally glad to see the days of the British music industry's cowardly genuflection towards any bunch of blokes with guitars come to an deserved end.

Tom, UK
I think 2000 will be a better year than 1999. And it's wrong to condemn "pop" acts, because they have their place in the music industry too. It's all about taste and just because you personally don't like Britney or Steps, it doesn't mean they're rubbish. Personally I'm delighted that All Saints are back on the scene, especially when you get to watch Nicole dance. We should be proud of the diversity in British music.
Charlie, London, UK

Tom Jones, David Bowie, Sting and Van Morrison I can understand, even though they are all practically eligible for a bus pass, but Tom Jones, David Bowie, Sting and Van Morrison I can understand, even though they are all practically eligible for a bus pass, but Ian Brown ? Come on ! The guy can't even sing in tune !
MR, UK

Brit music is definitely not on the decline. Names like Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Baseman Jaxx have been in the top of world charts. Only we Americans still seem to cling on to our own repetitive and inmaginative music.
Patrick, USA

Ian Brown? Come on! The guy can't even sing in tune!

MR, UK
The Brits have to stop emulating the Grammy and other American awards platforms. British Music is more cuting edge than the American music scene and your awards should reflect that fact, therein. Let your hair down!
Peter, Canada

The Brit awards are better than anything the Grammys could muster!!!!!
Kevin McKie, Canada

We've just come to the end of the nineties, a decade which has shown the triumph of image over substance. With luck in this new decade the music industry can attempt to bring through talent rather than me too bands. With luck the next couple of years will se Britain producing original music again.
Mark West, England

England has the richest heritage of music of all genres. Yet the Brit Awards have descended to joke level as they follow the fad and not the talent that is undoubtedly out there. The sum of the talent level displayed by these awards is somewhere in the basement. This is best shown by the Lifetime Award as NO recording artist with longer than a 5 minute career was deemed worthy of the award this year. There are at least 7 artists who write their own music have 25yrs plus in the industry, constantly tour and have a fan base that has and will stay with them, oh they do not pander to the latest dance or teen craze either as they have artisitic integrity Genesis, ELO, ELP, Moody Blues, Yes, King Crimson and Rick Wakeman to name but a few. So Nominating Committee why could not one of these be awarded the prize? Is next years winner going to be Steps? for having a hit record in 2 consecutive years or is it going to be someone with a body of work?

Any more nominees of this overall level like this and the Awards should be filed in the wastepaper bin.
Andy Bayliss, USA


What have the Spice Girls achieved apart from making some of the most irritating and self-absorbed people on the planet famous?

Rick, UK
As usual the nominations and whole spectacle of the Brits lack any imagination and talent. Any original acts or performers listed are done so grudgingly just so that the bloated cash cow that is the music industry can acknowledge they exist. An example of this is the male solo performer category where Beck, Eminem, Moby, Ricky Martin and Will Smith are nominated. I would bet my house that Smith will win regardless of the fact that the bloke has never released an original record in his life.

I also find it depressing that the Spice Girls are tipped to receive a lifetime's achievement award. What have they achieved apart from making some of the most irritating and self-absorbed people on the planet famous?

That doesn't warrant an award at all, it only brings the music industry into disrepute. I could go on indefinitely, but all I'll achieve is putting myself in a bad mood. I'll look on the bright side and say at least the Brits aren't as rubbish and as obvious a sop to the multinational record companies as the Grammys are. Not yet anyway......
Rick, UK

Apologies if I seem weary of it all...Oasis - yawn, yawn, yawn. Will Smith - unoriginal, No more Vengaboys, Shanks & Bigfoot, Ann Lee, S Club 7 etc etc.
Paul, England

I don't think the likes of Tom Jones is a reflection of British Music being in the doldrums. It's more a case of the way the music is structured at the moment. The proliferation of dance bands in the categories is an indication that rather than going for the albums most British dance talent concentrates on the single market or sales through compiliations, ie Shanks and Bigfoot and The Artful Dodger.

The British music scene and singles charts is dominated by dance music and so by definition the album nominations will contain a few surprises possibly because of to a certain extent a lack of choice.
Steve R, England

The Brits is merely an example of the current disease in the music industry. There weren't any new artists breaking through last year because there aren't any of superstar calibre. Current buzz that I hear is that everyone is looking for the next Travis (because 'The man who...' sold so well).

Unfortunately there are very few A+R with the vision or talent to sign acts that they believe are commercially viable. Most are followers. No point moaning about the music industry though. There are a few really talented unsigned bands in London alone that give me a lot of hope that, whilst this years Brits is strictly about 'flogging records' perhaps next year we can actually have something to celebrate.
Chris, UK

When the likes of Adam Rickitt can be nominated when they have had more impact on the lives of teenage girls than the charts, it does seem a little strange and hints that either money is the cause or that there is no alternative act/group/artist to nominate which is disappointing.

However, the Brit awards are not the only awards ceremonies doing the rounds and they too will have their own weaknesses in who they nominate.
Paul, UK

Yes, British music is in the doldrums right now (though not enough to resort to listening to American chart dross). But there's still hope for the future. A lot hangs on what Radiohead can do with their next album.

I think the problem is the media have thrown all of their weight behind a loser in Oasis.

Steve Rodgers, USA
I think the problem is the media have thrown all of their weight behind a loser in Oasis. It's time they cut their losses and started backing the real heavyweight of British music - Blur. This is not a Blur vs Oasis gripe, I have no axe to grind with those cheeky Mancs. Their only fault was to produce a blistering debut that tapped into the nation's mood perfectly. But they should now quietly step aside. Radiohead & Blur have genuine talent that stands on it's own merits.

British music is still a lot healthier than some. Compare the nominees for Brits with those for the US Grammys. Need I say more?
Steve Rodgers, USA

So very tired. What's with the Brits? It's 2000, music should be forward thinking, exciting and fun - Tom Jones, Sting, Van Morrison. Yawn. Please, please, please retire NOW!
Paul, England

Tom Jones and Van Morrison have survived because of their talent and their love of music. The manufactured British bands I see today have no talent and no love of music, only a love of money.
WB, UK

Tom Jones, Sting, David Bowie and Van Morrison may have been in the business for many a year but that's only because they are such talented legends and are still managing to produce top quality music that is rarely matched by the newer artists on the scene (and I am saying this as someone in their early 20's who rates Sting and Van the Man as 2 of my favourite artists). Why should it be a negative point that Britain has artists of this calibre?

I find it refreshing that in these times of 'one hit wonders' that the powers that be in the music business are still prepared to put talent before popularity.

I would put my vote with Van Morrison.
Jodi, UK

There is only one answer. Tom Jones! The man is more of a perfectionist now, than in his youth. Most performers can't even achive a small portion of greatness and perfection as Mr. Jones has. Not to grace him with an honor, such as the Brits would be a crime. Tom belongs right up there, at the top of the heap!!! I can't imagine a world without that magical voice. The Heavens open up, when he sings his songs.
Dottie Mallette, USA

It is all about popularity and the ability to dominate a market, rather than talent and good music

Cath, UK
Who do I think should win? Well, that's very easy to answer. Tom Jones, would be my choice of 'voice'! Do I think the Britsh will allow him to win, hardly.People are afraid to offend the young, they might lose out on that extra pound! The man has talent, and has given the world a gift to us all to enjoy, we should at least say thank you!
Judy, USA

Why oh why have Destiny's Child and All Saints not been nominated, I cannot believe it. They are two of the most excellent girl groups around in this century/millennium - It is a travesty!!
Chris Barrett, England

As with the MTV music awards it is all about popularity and the ability to dominate a market, rather than talent and good music.
Cath, UK

See also:

07 Mar 00 | Talking Point
31 Jan 00 | Brit Awards
29 Feb 00 | Brit Awards
28 Dec 99 | Entertainment
31 Jan 00 | Entertainment
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