Amy Winehouse could take a posthumous Brit Award after she was shortlisted for best British female against acts such as Emeli Sande tonight.
The late star – who died 17 months ago – previously took the title in 2007 on the back of her massive Back To Black album.
Sande, Mumford And Sons and Mercury Prize-winners Alt-J lead the nominations for next month’s Brits, competing for three each.
Muse, Plan B, Rita Ora, Coldplay and Olly Murs are among eight acts with two nominations apiece.
Veteran stars the Rolling Stones have been nominated for best live act – the first time they have been in the running for a Brit for 17 years. And it is the first time they have been shortlisted for anything other than best video since the very first Brit Awards in 1977, when they competed for best group, losing out to the long defunct Beatles.
The big award of the night – best album – will be fought between Sande’s Our Version Of Events, Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave, the Mumford release Babel and Plan B’s Ill Manors. Paloma Faith is also up for the title for her second album Fall To Grace.
Sande and Faith go up against each other once more in the British female category, with Bat For Lashes (Natasha Khan), Jessie Ware and Winehouse completing the contenders. Sande’s final nomination is as one of the 15 tracks in the running for best single with Next To Me.
The best male shortlist sees Richard Hawley go up against Murs, Calvin Harris, Plan B and Ben Howard.
Mumford And Sons will line up against Alt-J again for best British group, with The xx and Muse. Pop act One Direction – who will be performing on the night when the awards take place on February 20 – complete the category after a year which has seen them conquer the US.
The nominations were announced at a ceremony in London’s Savoy Hotel this evening which saw the first 2012 Brit trophy – designed by artist Damien Hirst with his signature spot design – handed to critics’ choice winner Tom Odell. It was handed over by last year’s recipient Sande.
Coldplay, Mumford And Sons, Muse and The Vaccines are the bands who will challenge the Stones – who performed two UK shows at London’s O2 Arena to mark their 50th anniversary last year – for the best live act title. The prize is making a comeback after being rested since 2009.
Stones frontman Mick Jagger welcomed the nomination and said: “We all had such a blast, everyone was at the top of their game, and the hometown audiences at the O2 were just fantastic. It’s great to be nominated.”
Guitarist Keith Richards said: “On stage is where we belong. When I’m up there with Mick, Charlie and Ronnie, everything is rocking.”
Adele, a double winner last year who was famously cut off by host James Corden as she launched into her climactic acceptance speech, is among the acts who compete for best single, with her Oscar-nominated Bond single Skyfall. Others in the category include Jessie J for Domino and X Factor winner James Arthur with his chart-topping single Impossible.
The 2011 X Factor winners Little Mix failed to get a single nomination for this year’s Brits, despite releasing their debut album in the qualifying period.
Rihanna leads the field in the shortlist for international female act and stands a chance of becoming the first person to win the prize in three consecutive years. She is against Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift, which raises the prospect that Swift may attend the event and bump into her One Direction star ex, Harry Styles.
Winehouse, who was eligible as a result of the release of her Lioness: Hidden Treasures album, is thought to be the first nominee to be included posthumously. Although Freddie Mercury won a Brit in 1992, a little over two months after his death, that was an honorary award for his outstanding contribution to music.
Other performers who will play at the ceremony – officially called the Brit Awards 2013 with MasterCard – next month at the O2 will include Muse, Robbie Williams, Mumford And Sons, Sande and Howard, with further names to be announced.
The outstanding contribution prize is being dropped this year, with organisers instead introducing a prize honouring Brits’ global success, which is expected to go to Adele, although One Direction and Mumford are thought to be in the running.
A special recognition prize will be presented to the charity Warchild.
Here are the nominees for the 2013 Brit Awards:
Bat For Lashes
Mumford And Sons
Mumford And Sons
Adele – Skyfall
Alex Clare – Too Close
Coldplay featuring Rihanna – Princess Of China
DJ Fresh featuring Rita Ora – Hot Right Now
Emeli Sande – Next To Me
Florence + The Machine – Spectrum (Say My Name)
James Arthur – Impossible
Jessie J – Domino
Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande – Beneath Your Beautiful
Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida – Troublemaker
Rita Ora featuring Tinie Tempah – RIP
Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
Robbie Williams – Candy
Rudimental featuring John Newman – Feel The Love
Stooshe – Black Heart
Lana Del Rey
Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Emeli Sande – Our Version Of Events
Mumford And Sons – Babel
Paloma Faith – Fall To Grace
Plan B – Ill Manors