MusicRadar's bold 2009 Brit predictions
16th Feb 2009 | 12:05
We choose the winners so you don't have to
Hot on the heels of the Grammy awards comes the 2009 Brits. The UK's big music industry awards ceremony takes place in London on 18 February.
Mirroring that 'special relationship' between the US and UK, the Brit awards are less glitzy and glamourous than the Grammys. But, this being Britain, there's always a good chance of onstage insults and backstage drunken fights, so the Brits is going to be 'fun' anyway.
MusicRadar made its own 2009 Grammy predictions 11 days ago. We got some right, and some wrong. Will we do any better for the 2009 Brits?
MusicRadar's 2009 Brits predictions
Here are MusicRadar's bold 2009 Brit predictions. And let us know who should have been nominated but is missing…
1. Best British Male
Nominated: Ian Brown, James Morrison, The Streets, Paul Weller, Will Young
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: James Morrison
I'm not a fan of Morrison's work, but given Weller's 2006 lifetime achievement award the Modfather has effectively been put out to pasture by the Brits committee. As for the rest, Ian Brown's last album came out in 2007 and even Mike Skinner doesn't seem enamoured with his latest Streets effort.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Paul Weller
A toughie this, for all the wrong reaons, as no-one's convincing. In lieu of an obvious choice, I'll say Weller - if only for the critical plaudits his 22 Dreams album received.
Ben Rogerson predicts: James Morrison
What a dreary list of nominees this is. While the UK's women have been off conquering the world, the country's male artists have been boring the collective arse off their home nation. Based on the fact that he's had plenty of radio play and is probably perceived as a 'credible' pop star (he plays a guitar, after all), I'll go for aptly-named supermarket favourite Morrison.
Chris Wickett predicts: Paul Weller
I'm with Rogerson on this: it's been a sorry old musical year for British blokes. To avoid accusations of sexism, however, the trust has still included a Best British Male category (political correctness gone mad…) and so I'm plumping for Paul Weller because a) his album was, if not revolutionary, pretty good and b) I bought my Dad a copy for Father's Day. He loved it – maybe the panel did too.
Joe Bosso predicts: James Morrison
Paul Weller's previous awards may set him back - or perhaps they could help? Regardless, I'm going with James Morrison. Sweet voice, great lyricist and big future.
2. Best British Female
Nominated: Adele, Beth Rowley, Duffy, Estelle, MIA
Michael Leonard predicts: Adele
Duffy has racked-up more sales, but Adele's been a Brits favourite since her Critics Award - for artists who'd yet to release an album - in 2008. She's gobby and talented, and I refuse to bet against her.
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Duffy
The Welsh singer should have the sales clout to walk away with this one, although Adele and Estelle could both scoop the award too. If nothing else, it's proof that female-fronted retro pop can succeed without tabloid scandals and a crack habit in tow.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: MIA
A toughie this, but only because the field is so strong. Adele and Duffy will get the usual if-only-it-was-Amy plaudits and Estelle's case is strong but (whisper it) based only on a single. I'll stick my neck out and go for MIA, if not for the wonderfully ubiquitous Paper Planes from Kala but for her superb soundtrack work with AR Rahman on the now-stellar Slumdog Millionaire.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Duffy
A genuinely competitive category, this one, though I'm surprised Leona Lewis isn't included (if this is anti-X Factor snobbery at work, it's misplaced). It'd be great to see MIA get some recognition, but one suspects it'll be one from Adele, Duffy or Estelle. I reckon bigger UK sales will see the Welsh songstress triumph.
Chris Wickett predicts: Duffy
It's a strong nominees list, this, but why does no-one have surnames? I'd like to give the award to Beth Rowley for that alone (poor girl, 'Beth' just doesn't cut it, does it…), but I think Duffy will scoop it, just. She's done well commercially, and our US Editor won't like it if I predict someone else.
Joe Bosso predicts: Duffy
This one's a real horse race. Adele took the Grammy for Best New Artist last week, but she's got stiff competition from every angle here. I'm going with Duffy. She's not the singer Adele is, but she's got the star package. And who doesn't like a star?
3. Best British Group
Nominated: Coldplay, Elbow, Girls Aloud, Radiohead, Take That
Chris Wickett predicts: Coldplay
I'd like to see Radiohead, Elbow, or possibly even Girls Aloud win this one - but it's going to be Coldplay. Let's put the quality of their slightly under-reaching fourth album aside for a moment: they cleaned up at the Grammys. The masses love them. They are, undeniably, megastars. They're just the British band of the moment, and I reckon that's what the judges will vote for.
Michael Leonard predicts: Coldplay
Despite their long haul of Brits (and Grammys), Coldplay have only once won Best British Group. I think they'll win again. I just do.
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Coldplay
It would be great to see this award go to Elbow or Radiohead in honour of the fragile beauty of their most recent respective albums and their experimental sensibilities. Coldplay remain the safer proposition though, both sonically and in commercial terms.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Girls Aloud
There's an intriguing mix of rock and pop here, with Mercury Prize winners Elbow making a strong late charge. The smart money's on them, but Girls Aloud may now be credible enough to spring a surprise.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Radiohead
Coldplay should walk it given their post-Grammys momentum but I'll go with the maverick reputation of the Brits judges and say Radiohead will get the award deserved for the still-astonishing In Rainbows.
Joe Bosso predicts: Coldplay
Bigger than Radiohead's evolving brilliance, Coldplay have the kind of worldwide sales that impress. Not my pick, just a prediction.
4. Best British Live Act
Nominated: Coldplay, Elbow, Iron Maiden, Scouting For Girls, The Verve
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Iron Maiden
We can only assume that the inclusion of Scouting For Girls in this category is the result of a catastrophic typographical error? In a public vote, Maiden will cruise to victory due to the sheer weight of fan fervour.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Iron Maiden
Traditionally, a public vote means anything could happen - hello, Belle And Sebastian fans. So who's got the kind of fanbase that can be motivated to vote 27,000 times each and then vote again for good measure. Scouting for Girls?! Pah - ladies and gentleman, I give you Iron Maiden! Viva Eddie!
Chris Wickett predicts: Coldplay
Coldplay are the kind of band that the man or woman on the street would love to see live – you know the type: "What kind of music are you into?" "Oh, you know, anything really." Not that I'm disparaging Coldplay's shows – I'm sure they're great, especially given that Viva La Vida… seems to be written, more than ever, with stadium singalongs in mind.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Iron Maiden
Why are Scouting For Girls being nominated for anything? - although I don't think they'll win. I'm also calculating that Maiden's fans will have galvanised themselves via the internet and led their heroes to victory. Either that or it'll be Coldplay.
Joe Bosso predicts: Iron Maiden
Coldplay are current arena-fillers, but 30 years into their career Iron Maiden have come back and are freakin' huuuuuuuge. A true people's band should nail this vote.
5. Best British Single
Nominated (final five shortlist): Coldplay - Viva La Vida, Duffy - Mercy, Girls Aloud - The Promise, Leona Lewis - Better in Time, Scouting for Girls - Heartbeat
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Duffy - Mercy
Sheer ubiquity will surely reward Duffy with her second award of the evening for a song that was inescapable last year. That and the fact that almost all of the other nominations are absolute cobblers.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Duffy - Mercy
Another award that's voted for by the public, and given that it's "supported by listeners of participating UK commercial radio Stations and The Sun", I'd say that a pop act is bound to win. Girls Aloud and Estelle are likely to make strong challenges, but Duffy's Mercy is probably the single that 2008 will be remembered for, and it'll probably be recognised here.
Michael Leonard predicts: Girls Aloud - The Promise
The original 10-strong shortlist was less purely pop, but this is a public vote and these are the final five, - yes, really. Girls Aloud (and production wizards Xenomania) warrant a shout for pure consistency. No, I'm not kidding.
6. Best British Album
Nominated: Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, Duffy – Rockferry, Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid, Radiohead - In Rainbows, The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Outsiders maybe, but something tells me that the Mercury-scooping Seldom Seen Kid might just have the legs to get this award. If not, please let it be In Rainbows.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
If it's Radiohead for Best British Group, then it's got to be Coldplay for Best British Album. After a distinct wobble on their third album X&Y, they've rolled up their sleeves U2-style and delivered an album for the masses. Welcome to your spiritual home.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
Probably the most 'serious' of the Brit Awards, and the one that the artists most want to win (if only to give their sales a shot in the arm at a slow time of year). Following their Grammy successes, Coldplay have got the momentum, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Elbow got the nod.
Chris Wicket predicts: Radiohead - In Rainbows
Not only is In Rainbows a fantastic album - seen by many as a 'return to form' (they never lost it, but hey-ho) - but the album's pay-what-you-want scheme has made Radiohead industry darlings. Coldplay may be serious contenders, but Viva La Vida… just isn't, well… best enough.
Joe Bosso predicts: Radiohead - In Rainbows
Radiohead made yet another glittering headtrip of an album and will reap the rewards in this category. Or they should.
7. Best British Breakthrough Act
Nominated: Adele, Duffy, Last Shadow Puppets, Scouting For Girls, The Ting Tings
Michael Leonard predicts: Duffy
The Brits academy like sales - moreso than ever as the record industry crumbles - so I think Duffy will get the gong. Rockfery has way surpassed sales expectations and made that much-sought 'demographic crossover'.
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Last Shadow Puppets
It's probably easier to successfully break through when your day job involves being the brains behind one of the most successful British bands of recent years. That said, Alex Turner and his partner in crime Miles Kane emerged with a fully-formed sound from day one, and that is to be applauded.
Chris Wickett predicts: Duffy
Duffy's Rockferry was officially the UK's biggest-selling album in 2008, and while I don't think it's got much of a chance in the Best Album category, the figure is a clear indicator as to the scale of her success last year. It could well be Adele, though - she did it at the Grammys.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Scouting For Girls
If 'Breakthrough' means 'around for a while', I'd say Adele or Duffy. If it means 'here for six months', I'd say The Ting Tings. If it means 'unfortunately the former rather than the latter', I'd say - step forward Scouting For Girls. Sigh.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Adele
I think the voting panel will want to share the awards around this year, so Adele seems a good bet for this one. The only thing that could work against her is the fact that she won the Critics' Choice statue last year, which seems to be a 'best new artist' award in all but name. It couldn't be Scouting For Girls, though, could it?
Joe Bosso predicts: Duffy
Another hard one. Adele, Duffy… Duffy, Adele? Nothing scientific to my pick, other than Duffy has all the goods for a 'breakthrough' act. You're going to be seeing her everywhere, if not already. She's an 'It girl.' 'It girls' are awesome.
8. Best International Album
Nominated: AC/DC - Black Ice, Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes, Killers - Day & Age, Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night, MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Michael Leonard predicts: Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
Surely AC/DC's nomination is 28 years too late? The stellar performance of KOL's Only By The Night has put it way ahead in betting odds and I've a suspicion they'll pick up this one and Best International Group.
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
While AC/DC's Black Ice seemed virtually unstoppable in the unit-shifting stakes this year, we expect the British love affair with the Followill family to bear fruit in the form of this award being handed to the Kings. That said, Fleet Foxes and MGMT have been getting more spins on my iPod lately.
Chris Wickett predicts: Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
The album's got everything going for it: good music – yup; number one single – check; artwork with cool hawks and owl faces – nice; Best International Album award – thanks. The other nominees are all strong, but MGMT and Fleet Foxes are too new, AC/DC too old, and The Killers' album wasn't enough, let alone too, anything.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
With one eye on the exact same nominees for Best International Artist, I think it's MGMT for one and Kings of Leon for the other. I'll say it's MGMT for this - you couldn't turn on the TV without hearing equally lovely Electric Feel or Time To Pretend on a programme trailer or mobile phone ad. This was and is still A Good Thing.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
Firstly, Sam Sparro should be nominated in this category for his eponymous debut. The spoils, though, will probably go to either AC/DC (if the voting panel is feeling sentimental) or Kings Of Leon (if the voting panel has been listening to the music used to soundtrack about a million TV montages over the past six months). I suspect it'll be the latter.
9. Best International Male
Nominated: Beck, Neil Diamond, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Seasick Steve
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Seasick Steve
Every trip to the races needs its punt on a rank outsider, and this is mine. Kanye probably bought more cars in 2008 than Steve Wold sold records but anyone who has ever enjoyed the pleasures of the Three-String Trance Wonder and Mississippi Drum Machine will be with me on this one.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Jay-Z
Surely, the vanilla 'it's either indie, rock or pop' nature of the rest of the Brits means a rapper will win this award. Will it be a heartbroken maverick with a love of Auto-Tune, 808s and 'challenging' his fanbase or a Glastonbury headliner who charmed the UK for an entire summer? Step forward, Mr Z- your award is waiting for you.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Kanye West
AKA the oddest list of names on the nominations sheet. The fact that none of the artists involved here got a Best international album nod seems ridiculous, but then so is the presence of Seasick Steve, so maybe the whole thing is a bit of a joke. The victor, though, will probably be a man who takes himself (and the winning of awards) pretty seriously: Kanye West.
Joe Bosso predicts: Neil Diamond
Beck's act has gone way stale, and Kanye West has Auto-Tuned himself into novelty status. I'm giving it to Diamond, not for having his first Number One album in 2008, but for an incredible catalog of classics that goes back nearly 50 years.
10. Best International Female
Nominated: Beyonce, Gabriella Cilmi, Katy Perry, Pink, Santogold
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Katy Perry
A difficult one to call, but we can see Katy Perry sneaking past Mrs Jay-Z in this category, mainly due to Beyonce no longer appearing to be at her commercial peak in the UK.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Katy Perry
It's got to be Perry. The rest are either (in order) old news, a bit namby, older news or a bit weird (and not as good as MIA). Perry is smart, popular, has pretty hair, a good line in press manipulation and sings ace pop songs about liking ladies even though she doesn't really.
Ben Rogerson predicts: Katy Perry
They got the wrong Knowles - Beyonce's sister Solange produced a far more satisfying album than her elder sibling last year. Mrs Jay-Z stands a reasonable chance, though, but will probably lose out to Katy Perry, who has managed to become a UK tabloid fixture.
Joe Bosso predicts: Beyonce
Katy Perry can kiss all the girls she wants and I'll always like it. Still, you can't deny the class act that is Beyonce. Singing for President Obama gets you props others can't touch. Etta James can bitch all she wants - on inauguration night, Beyonce made At Last her own. Truth.
11. Best International Group
Nominated: AC/DC, Fleet Foxes, The Killers, Kings Of Leon, MGMT
Michael Leonard predicts: Kings Of Leon
Of the two clear frontrunners, The Killers are previous winners. So on the notion of 2008 being 'their year' alone, it'll be KOL.
Chris Vinnicombe predicts: Kings Of Leon
Despite the aforementioned commercial might of AC/DC we can't see this going anywhere other than the way of the Followills. The Killers have an outside chance of just edging it, but it's almost certainly too early for the excellent Fleet Foxes and MGMT.
Ben Rogerson predicts: AC/DC
Unsurprisingly, we're looking at a repeat of the 'Best international album' nominees here, and it seems likely that the same two acts - AC/DC and Kings Of Leon - will be duking it out. A year ago, the prospect of Angus Young and co winning would have been unthinkable, but big sales should see them rewarded.
Mike Goldsmith predicts: Kings Of Leon
See my predictions for Best International Group for my reasoning but it's got to be Kings of Leon for this one. They're a proper rawk group with, as any festival goer will attest, proper rawk anthems that fly from the lips of many a weekend hippy girl whilst atop the shoulders of the man she loves. The sound of summer 2008 and a shoo-in for that alone.
Joe Bosso predicts: AC/DC
AC/DC embody the term 'international'.You could Google Map yourself a mile of sand in the Sahara Desert, book AC/DC to play there and they'd still pack the place. That's an international group - an intergalactic one when you get right down to it.
See if MusicRadar is anywhere close to being right when we blog live on the 2009 Brit awards from 19:55 (GMT) on 18 February.