British rapper Tinie Tempah led the field on Thursday at the BRIT awards with four nominations, just ahead of singer-songwriter Plan B, folk rock act Mumford & Sons and London's The XX, who each had three nods.
In a turnaround from 2010's female-dominated nominations, male acts were in the ascendancy for 2011 as the buildup began to the biggest night of the year for British pop music. The winners are announced at the O2 Arena in London on February 15.
Joining the relatively fresh-faced front-runners is Robert Plant, former Led Zeppelin lead singer who has forged a successful solo career. At age 62, Plant grabbed his first BRIT nomination in the category of best British male solo artist.
Among those with two nominations apiece are Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green and Eminem.
Tempah, 22, is nominated for British male solo artist, British breakthrough act, British single for Pass Out and the coveted Mastercard British album of the year with Disc-Overy.
In the latter category he is up against Mumford & Sons (Sigh No More), Plan B (The Defamation of Strickland Banks), Take That (Progress) and The XX (XX).
Jessie J has already been announced as the winner of the Critics' Choice award identifying up-and-coming talent, and comedian James Corden was named on Thursday as the host of this year's ceremony.
Industry insiders said the inclusion of artists on the BRITs Voting Academy was one reason behind the prominence this year of relatively new artists over more established acts.
Other changes in 2011 include a move to the O2 Arena, BRIT statues styled by Vivienne Westwood and a re-formatted show that climaxes with the announcement of the winner of the British Album of the Year.
Following is the full list of nominations:
- British Male Solo Artist: Mark Ronson; Paul Weller; Plan B; Robert Plant; Tinie Tempah
- British Female Solo Artist: Cheryl Cole; Ellie Goulding; Laura Marling; Paloma Faith; Rumer
- British Breakthrough Act (top five selected by Academy, winner chosen by BBC Radio 1 listeners): Ellie Goulding; Mumford & Sons; Rumer; Tinie Tempah; The XX
- British Group: Biffy Clyro; Gorillaz; Mumford & Sons; Take That; The XX
- British Single (voted for by listeners of Capital FM and users of iTunes): Alexandra Burke ft Pitbull/All Night Long; Cheryl Cole/Parachute; Florence & The Machine/You've Got The Love; Matt Cardle/When We Collide; Olly Murs/Please Don't Let Me Go; Plan B/She Said; Scouting For Girls/This Ain't A Love Song; Taio Cruz/Dynamite; Tinie Tempah/Pass Out; The Wanted/All Time Low
- MasterCard British Album of the Year: Mumford & Sons/Sigh No More; Plan B/The Defamation of Strickland Banks; Take That/Progress; Tinie Tempah/Disc-Overy; The XX/XX
- International Male Solo Artist: Bruce Springsteen; Cee Lo Green; David Guetta; Eminem; Kanye West
- International Female Solo Artist: Alicia Keys; Katy Perry; Kylie Minogue; Rihanna; Robyn
- International Breakthrough Act (top five selected by Academy, winner chosen by MTV viewers): Bruno Mars; Glee Cast; Justin Bieber; The National; The Temper Trap
- International Group: Arcade Fire; Black Eyed Peas; Kings of Leon; The Script; Vampire Weekend
- International Album: Arcade Fire/The Suburbs; Cee Lo Green/The Lady Killer; Eminem/Recovery; Katy Perry/Teenage Dream; Kings of Leon/Come Around Sundown
- Critics' Choice (in association with War Child): Jessie J (winner)
- British Producer: Ethan Johns; John Leckie; Markus Dravs; Mike Pela; Stuart Price.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)