Newcomer Lily leads Brit Award nominations

LILY ALLEN leads the nominations for the Brit Awards.

The 21-year-old, who was unknown to all but her Myspace friends this time last year, is nominated in four categories, including Best British Female.

She is also in the running for Best British Breakthrough Act, Best British Album for Alright Still, and Best British Single for Smile. Her rivals in the Best British Female category are Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamelia and Nerina Pallot.

Bailey Rae has two further nominations — Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Single for Put Your Records On.

Winehouse has a Best British Album nomination for Back to Black.

The part-French, part-Indian singer-songwriter grew up on the Channel Island of Jersey. She was dropped by her record label in 2001 and nearly quit the business altogether.

But her second album Fires, released independently, sold 10,000 copies via the internet and after-gig sales before it was picked up by a major label.

Best British Male is a five-way race between James Morrison, Jarvis Cocker, Lemar, Paolo Nutini and Thom Yorke.

Both former Pulp star Cocker and Radiohead frontman Yorke released solo efforts last year.

Cocker will forever be associated with the awards after invading the stage in 1996 during a Michael Jackson performance.

Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Muse, Razorlight and Snow Patrol are in line for Best British Group. Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Snow Patrol are also nominated for Best British Album.

Take That cap their comeback year with a Best British Single nomination for Patience. Former bandmate Robbie Williams is in line for Best Live Act.

George Michael also has a Best Live Act nomination after embarking on a tour for the first time in 15 years.

Russell Brand will host this year’s awards, which will be broadcast on TV for the first time since 1989, from London’s Earls Court on Valentine’s Day.

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