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Ditto Blog

The Problem With The Brit Awards: Things We Learned in 2012

Last year in an attempt to retain some credibility, the Brits handed out some awards to the most critically acclaimed artists of the year. Laura Marling and The Arcade Fire’s success in 2011 showed that it wasn’t, as it always had been, just the most listened to artists of the year that were deserving of awards.


Fast forward one year and 2012's Brit Awards are as predictable as ever. Coldplay won best British group, Ed Sheeran won best British breakthrough, Bruno Mars won best International artist and 99% of the music listening population are left scoffing at the thought that is this really an accurate assessment of Britain’s ‘best’ music ?

Adele is a really, really big deal.

This isn’t news. Adele has had an unbelievable year – selling about a trillion copies of both her albums and breaking all kinds of records in the process. Adele deserved both her awards, of course she did. But let’s face it – ‘21’ is not the best album of the last twelve months, not by a long shot. Musically it is good and it is accessible for everyone - people can relate to it, empathise with it and enjoy it, which is why it is the biggest album of the last year and of the last decade. Stick a ‘Biggest’ before every award category and the Brit Awards start to make a lot more sense: Biggest British Album (Adele), Biggest International Male (Bruno Mars), Biggest British Group (Coldplay). These are all artists who have sold in their millions this year.

No one cares anymore.

Try and think of a single awards ceremony that is met with such scepticism and sarcasm as The Brit Awards. Excluding the small minority of people who ‘Like a Bit of Everything’, no one really cares about The Brits anymore. There are more parody blogs on the awards this morning that there are serious ones and you didn’t have to look very far to see a snide and sarcastic live blog as it happened last night. In fact – the biggest talking point this morning is Adele’s middle finger, emphasizing the irrelevance of it further.

But It’s not all doom and gloom.

Adele is signed to independent label XL recordings and like him or not, Ed Sheeran is a perfect example of a hardworking, independent musician making a name for himself. The Brits have never been about the best of British music – but they are a celebration of British music and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Regardless of how good or bad their music is, with artists such as Ed Sheeran and Adele receiving awards, the Brits are celebrating the notion of ordinary, hardworking musicians making it to the top. They set good examples for other aspiring musicians who do make good, interesting and thought provoking music, who ultimately won’t get and won’t need a Brit award.

Who do YOU think should have won an award last night?

Comment below

Mike Townsend