The nominees for international group of the year at February’s Brit Awards are truly international: There’s ABBA from Sweden, BTS from South Korea, Måneskin from Italy, and two American acts — R&B superduo Silk Sonic and rock band The War on Drugs.
This is the second nomination in that category for both BTS, who lost last year to HAIM, and The War on Drugs, who lost in 2015 to Foo Fighters. (In Britain, of course, American acts, such as HAIM and Foo Fighters, are considered “international.”)
Despite the Grammys’ recent postponement of their planned Jan. 31 show to the spring due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, the Brit Awards are still on for Feb. 8 at The O2 Arena in London.
This marks the first time in 29 years that the Brits will present one, gender-neutral category for international solo artists. Two of this year’s nominees won in the defunct international female solo artist category. Eilish won that award in both 2020 and 2021. Swift won it in 2015; she was nominated three other times, losing to Lana Del Rey (2013), Lorde (2018) and Eilish (2021).
A total of 25 artists are nominated for best international song at this year’s Brits. (Fifteen singles are nominated, but six are by multiple artists). The roster includes nine artists from the U.S. (Eilish, Doja Cat, SZA, Lil Baby, Lil Nas X, Lil Tjay, 6lack, Rodrigo and Polo G), three from Canada (Drake, Justin Bieber and The Weeknd), three from Germany (ATB, Topic and Jonasu), two from Nigeria (CKay and Joeboy), two from Sweden (A7S and Galantis), and one each from Australia (The Kid LAROI), Ghana (Kuami Eugene), France (David Guetta), Britain (Little Mix), Italy (Måneskin) and The Netherlands (Tiësto).
In an odd twist, Frenchman Guetta is nominated for both song of the year, which is the province of British acts, and best international song, which is reserved for acts from outside of Britain. That’s because at least 50% of the artists on his two song of the year nominees are British. He teams with Joel Corry and Raye for “Bed,” and with Becky Hill for “Remember.”
But only one-third of the artists on his best international song contender, “Heartbreak Anthem,” are British. He teams on that record with Sweden’s Galantis and British group Little Mix. (This also explains why a British group is up for best international song.)
The award for international group was first presented in 1986. It has gone to 18 groups from the U.S., three from (or founded in) Australia (INXS, Crowded House and Tame Impala), two from Ireland (U2 and The Corrs), and one each from Canada (Arcade Fire) and France (Daft Punk).
Here are the nominees for 2022 Brit Awards in the three international categories:
The War On Drugs
Lil Nas X
Best international song:
ATB, Topic & A7S – “Your Love (9PM)”
Billie Eilish – “Happier Than Ever”
CKay featuring Joeboy and Kuami Eugene – “Love Nwantiti Remix (Ah Ah Ah)”
Doja Cat featuring SZA – “Kiss Me More”
Drake featuring Lil Baby – “Girls Want Girls”
Galantis, David Guetta & Little Mix – “Heartbreak Anthem”
Jonasu – “Black Magic”
The Kid LAROI. & Justin Bieber – “Stay”
Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”
Lil Tjay & 6lack – “Calling My Phone”
Måneskin – “I Wanna Be Your Slave”
Olivia Rodrigo – “Good 4 U”
Polo G – “Rapstar”
Tiësto – “The Business”
The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears”
The winners in all three of these categories will be chosen by The Brits’ voting academy, which consists of industry professionals.