Pink to star at British pop music’s big night

Dua Lipa, The 1975 and George Ezra are some of the big names vying for prizes at British pop music’s annual celebration on Wednesday, with US singer Pink also set to be honoured.

The 39th annual Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena will recognise Britain’s top talent of 2018, and also feature live performances from Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman and Pink.

The coveted Best Album of the Year Award will be fought out between pop rockers The 1975, rising star Anne-Marie, Florence + The Machine, indie singer George Ezra and Grammy-nominated diva Jorja Smith.

Electro-stars Clean Bandit are up for two awards for their collaboration with US actress/singer Demi Lovato while Dua Lipa, the 23-year-old star of last year’s show, is up for four prizes and will perform with hit producer Calvin Harris during the glitzy ceremony.

Anne-Marie, who shot to fame as the vocalist on Clean Bandit’s worldwide hit “Rockabye”, is nominated for four awards, including for the Britney Spears inspired video to “2002”, her fourth top 10 UK single.

Baritone singer George Ezra will also perform live, and could walk away with three awards, including Best British Male Solo Artist.

He is up against garage pioneer Craig David, veteran avant-garde techno producer Aphex Twin and soul singer Sam Smith.

The British Group award pits indie heavyweights Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys against each other, with the latter’s May album “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” earning plaudits for its experimental direction.

Three categories recognise foreign artists, with hip-hop giants Eminem, Drake and The Carters all up for awards, along with Ariana Grande and French star Christine and the Queens.

The Brit Awards have recognised the cream of British pop music since they were first held in 1977, and have often been peppered with scandal and farce.

The 1989 Brits are best remembered for the shambolic presenting skills of model Samantha Fox and Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood and a comical series of mishaps.

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker stormed the stage in protest while Michael Jackson performed surrounded by children in 1996.

In 1998, Chumbawamba vocalist Danbert Nobacon dumped a bucket of iced water over then deputy prime minister John Prescott.

And Madonna suffered whiplash injuries at the 2015 edition when she fell off the stage wearing a giant cape and surrounded by dancers wearing bondage-style costumes and horns on their heads.

The awards have also been criticised for failing to be bold in their choice of performers in recent years.

The British music industry contributed £4.5 billion ($5.8 billion, 5.1 billion euros) to the UK economy in 2015, and British artists accounted for one of every eight albums purchased worldwide.

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