As the awards for the biggest selling artists of the last year were announced at London's O2 Arena, our man Ben Urdang was at the free bar. Here he summarises this year's movers and the shakers and points out some obvious omissions...
The BRIT nominations have been revealed for the 2010 awards show and, as is their wont, they closely reflect what's been going on in the charts over the last 12 months. Only acts who've enjoyed a hit single or album qualify, which rules out a fair swathe of critical darlings.
Leading the way in the domestic categories are the polished pop of Pixie Lott and JLS, the urban stylings of Dizzee Rascal, and the Mercury nominated efforts of Florence And The Machine and Kasabian.
So far, so predictable. But throw in some critically acclaimed curveballs like Friendly Fires and Bat For Lashes, and the list takes on a bit more depth.
It's a similar story in the international categories. Lady GaGa and the Black Eyed Peas get their expected nods after mega-selling years. But then musicOMH's favourite of last year, Animal Collective, together with Seasick Steve and Empire Of The Sun, get recognition as well.
It'll be interesting to see whether these apparent cases of voting schizophrenia are simply tokens designed to give these safest of music awards a whiff of credibility, or whether on the night, some of them might actually come through, win, and receive a chunk of the publicity that will adorn the final victors.
Meanwhile, to celebrate 30 years of BRIT awards ceremonies, a special category has been set up to reward the BRITs' album of the last 30 years. The nominees have been picked from the long-players that have won that gong since the event's inception. Unfortunately it makes for fairly uncomfortable reading if these really are the best albums of the last three decades. But 'best' and 'what sells' are, as the BRITs once again underline, not always the same thing.
No matter how you look at the final list of nominees, there are plenty of deserving acts that don't make it. Where's Little Boots, for starters? So here is that list, together with one act in each category that we think should've also been in the mix.
Bat For Lashes; Florence and the Machine; Leona Lewis; Lily Allen; Pixie Lott
The one they overlooked: Shirley Bassey
Calvin Harris; Dizzee Rascal; Mika; Paolo Nutini; Robbie Williams
The one they overlooked: Richard Hawley
Florence and the Machine; Friendly Fires; JLS; La Roux; Pixie Lott
The one they overlooked: Mumford And Sons
Dizzee Rascal (Tongue 'n' Cheek); Florence And The Machine (Lungs); Kasabian (West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum); Lily Allen (It's Not Me, It's You); Paolo Nutini (Sunny Side Up)
The one they overlooked: The xx (xx)
Doves; Friendly Fires; JLS; Kasabian; Muse
The one they overlooked: Wild Beasts
Alesha Dixon (Breathe Slow); Alexandra Burke ft Flo Rida (Bad Boys); Cheryl Cole (Fight For This Love); Joe McElderry (The Climb); JLS (Beat Again); La Roux (In For The Kill); Lily Allen (The Fear); Pixie Lott (Mama Do); Taio Cruz (Break Your Heart); Tinchy Stryder ft N'Dubz (Number 1)
I wouldn't know where to start.
International Female Solo Artist
Lady GaGa; Ladyhawke; Norah Jones; Rihanna; Shakira
The one they overlooked: Fever Ray
International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen; Eminem; Jay-Z; Michael Buble; Seasick Steve
The one they overlooked: Andrew Bird
Animal Collective; Daniel Merriweather; Empire of the Sun; Lady Gaga; Taylor Swift
The one they overlooked: tUnE-yArDs
Animal Collective (Merriweather Post Pavilion); Black Eyed Peas (The End); Empire Of The Sun (Walking on a Dream); Jay-Z (The Blueprint 3); Lady GaGa (The Fame)
The one they overlooked: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This is a whole category that seems to have been overlooked.
So it should have read:
Animal Collective; Grizzly Bear; The Yeah Yeah Yeahs; The Low Anthem; Phoenix
BRITs' Album Of 30 Years
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2003)
Dido - No Angel (2002)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (1987)
Duffy - Rockferry (2008)
Keane - Hopes and Fears (2005)
Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1996)
Phil Collins - No Jacket Required
Sade - Diamond Life (1985)
The Verve - Urban Hymns (1998)
Travis - The Man Who (2000)
The one they overlooked: George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice (1991)
Runners up: Marina And The Diamonds; Delphic
Outstanding Contribution Award
The BRIT Awards will be held at Earl's Court on 16 February 2010. More details can be found at the BRITs website.