Adele, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz and Dave have topped the largest-ever field of nominations at the Brit awards, as the ceremony moves beyond gendered categories.

Each artist earned four nominations, including in the new “artist of the year” category that has replaced “British male” and “British female”, and for album of the year. New awards have been added this year to highlight excellence in genres: alternative/rock, hip-hop/grime/rap, dance, and pop/R&B.

The change to the gendered awards came after criticism of the 2021 ceremony by non-binary singer Sam Smith, whose gender identity meant they couldn’t be nominated in the male or female artist awards. They said: “I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in.”

Brit organisers replied that they were “committed to evolving the show”, and announced a consultation, eventually unveiling the changes last month. Tom March, co-president of Polydor Records, who is this year’s Brit chair, said: “It is important that the Brits continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible.”

There was a risk that the abolition of gendered awards, would see the new mixed categories skewed towards men, who have dominated some recent ceremonies – but more solo female artists and all-female groups have been nominated this year than at any time in the past decade.

Non-binary singer-songwriter Sam Smith
Non-binary singer-songwriter Sam Smith, whose comments last year triggered the Brits rethink about its gendered award categories. Photograph: Andrew Chin/Getty Images

There are some familiar successful artists among the nominees – Dua Lipa appears in the pop/R&B and song of the year categories despite releasing very little new music – but there are also a number of first-timers. South Yorkshire pop singer Self Esteem, who was awarded album and song of the year by Guardian critics, is nominated for best new artist, alongside Central Cee, Griff, Joy Crookes and – six years after her debut album – Little Simz. Self Esteem, AKA Rebecca Taylor, said on Instagram: “Props to Brits for having 35 year old woman representation. We don’t just become obsolete!”

Central Cee picks up three nominations overall in his first Brits appearance, capping a breakthrough year for the 23-year-old drill rapper that saw him dominate the Mobo and Rated awards for Black British music, and score two top 10 hits. Veteran dance producer David Guetta is also nominated three times, for his contributions to three joint-effort dancefloor tracks: Bed, Heartbreak Anthem and Remember. Geordie singer-songwriter Sam Fender also earned a trio of nominations, including in the prestigious artist of the year and album of the year categories – he said he was “completely overwhelmed and honoured” to be recognised.

There is a diverse span of artists in the running for group of the year, with four-time winners Coldplay extending their record number of nominations in the category to nine, plus rap duo D-Block Europe, indie rockers Wolf Alice, dream-poppers London Grammar and Little Mix, who in 2021 became the first female group to win the award.

Up for the international artist award, which again replaces two gendered awards, is an all-American lineup of Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Doja Cat.

The international group category is more globe-trotting, with Abba – who were nominated for this award at the first-ever Brit ceremony in 1977 – appearing alongside Italian Eurovision winners Måneskin, K-pop megastars BTS, US AOR band the War on Drugs, and Silk Sonic, the nostalgic funk supergroup formed by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak.

One Brit award has already been handed out: the rising star award for newly tipped talent, won by pop singer Holly Humberstone. Fender won this award in 2019; last year’s winner, Griff, receives two nominations elsewhere this year, as does previous rising star nominee Crookes, whose debut album Skin reached the UK top five.

Maya Jama, Mo Gilligan and Clara Amfo, hosts of the 2022 Brit awards ceremony and nominations.
Maya Jama, Mo Gilligan and Clara Amfo, hosts of the 2022 Brit awards ceremony and nominations. Photograph: John Marshall/JM Enternational

Awards for producer and songwriter of the year will be announced in January, before the ceremony on 8 February at the O2 Arena, which is presented for the first time by comedian Mo Gilligan, with support from Maya Jama and Clara Amfo. Overall, there are 15 awards up for grabs, the most in Brits history.

The awards are voted for by the Brits Academy, comprising musicians alongside music industry and media figures, though the genre categories will be voted for by the public via TikTok. Nominees in the two song of the year categories are determined by UK chart performance, but the winner is picked by the Academy.

Adele will likely become a quick favourite in her four categories, after she re-established herself alongside Ed Sheeran and Lipa as the UK’s biggest contemporary pop star. Her fourth album, 30, was released six fractious years after her previous one, 25, during which time she divorced her husband, Simon Konecki, the father of her son, Angelo. The album charts the relationship strife and its fallout in typically candid and emotive terms, and has been phenomenally successful since its release last month, becoming the biggest selling album of the year in the US in just three days. If she wins all four of her categories, she will have the joint-highest number of Brit awards ever alongside Robbie Williams, with 13.

Sheeran will be keen to add to his six previous wins in the year he released his fifth album, =, and Dave could potentially win album of the year for the second time in three years, after his debut Psychodrama took the prize in 2020.

In joining them at the top table of British pop, Little Simz marks her passage from cult artist to mainstream star. The critically adored rapper, celebrated for how she deploys a high level of technical skill into self-searching lyricism, had barely touched the UK charts with her first three albums, but reached the UK top five with her fourth, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.

There are no glaring snubs, though major stars Justin Bieber, Drake and the Weeknd all might have hoped to get a nomination for international artist.

Sam Fender, who is nominated for three Brit awards.
Sam Fender, who is nominated for three Brit awards. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

2022 Brit award nominations

Artist of the year



Ed Sheeran

Little Simz

Sam Fender

Group of the year


D Block Europe

Little Mix

London Grammar

Wolf Alice

Album of the year

Adele – 30

Dave – We’re All Alone in This Together

Ed Sheeran – =

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

Song of the year

A1 & J1 – Latest Trends

Adele – Easy On Me

Anne Marie, KSI & Digital Farm Animals – Don’t Play

Becky Hill & David Guetta – Remember

Central Cee – Obsessed With You

Dave & Stormzy – Clash

Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits

Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (Pnau remix)

Glass Animals – Heat Waves

Joel Corry, Raye & David Guetta – Bed

KSI – Holiday

Nathan Evans – Wellerman (220 Kid & Billen Ted remix)

Riton & Nightcrawlers – Friday (feat Mufasa & Hypeman)

Tion Wayne & Russ Millions – Body

Tom Grennan — Little Bit of Love

Best new artist

Central Cee


Joy Crookes

Little Simz

Self Esteem

Alternative/rock act


Glass Animals

Sam Fender

Tom Grennan

Wolf Alice

Hip-hop/grime/rap act

AJ Tracey

Central Cee



Little Simz

Dance act

Becky Hill

Calvin Harris

Fred Again

Joel Corry


Pop/R&B act


Dua Lipa

Ed Sheeran


Joy Crookes

International artist

Billie Eilish

Doja Cat

Lil Nas X

Olivia Rodrigo

Taylor Swift

International group




Silk Sonic

The War on Drugs

International song of the year

ATB, Topic & A7S – Your Love (9pm)

Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Ckay – Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)

Doja Cat & SZA – Kiss Me More

Drake & Lil Baby – Girls Want Girls

Galantis, Little Mix & David Guetta – Heartbreak Anthem

Jonasu – Black Magic

The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber – Stay

Lil Nas X – Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

Lil Tjay & 6lack – Calling My Phone

Måneskin – I Wanna Be Your Slave

Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U

Polo G - Rapstar

Tiësto – The Business

The Weeknd – Save Your Tears


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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