Several of the nominees expressed their joy at hearing the news. Wet Leg exclaimed: “Someone hold our horses while we get to grips with this wild news, being nominated for a BRIT award is too hard to fathom, we could never have expected our little band to achieve this.”
Webb gave a shout-out to a previous winner in the category. “I remember watching Dua Lipa win Best New Artist in 2018 and being in awe of her – that moment really inspired me to work hard and be the artist I am today.”
Ryder expressed his joy in a very vivid way: “I’m buzzing! I feel like a Golden Retriever who won a medal.”
Wet Leg, the female indie rock duo that ended Harry Styles for most nominations by any artist this year (four), the clear front-runner is here, but the other four acts shouldn’t lose heart. Many future superstars have lost this award and have done very well. The talented singer whose photo accompanies this story is one of them.
It’s not like the Brits don’t know a talented new artist when they see one. The list of winners in this category includes such heavyweights as Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi. It’s just that it’s not always easy to imagine how an artist will develop and grow based only on their first year—and sometimes less than a year—of success.
Note: The category has undergone several name changes over the years. When the Brits came into existence in 1977, they presented separate awards for British Female Newcomer and British Male Newcomer. When the show resumed in 1982 after a four-year hiatus, the British made the category gender neutral and called it the Brit Award for British Newcomer. In 2003 they changed it to the Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act. In 2020, they changed it again to the Brit Award for Best New Artist – reflecting the language the Grammys had been using since they introduced the award in 1959.
Here are 10 artists who missed out on the Best New Artist award, but (thankfully) didn’t let it stop them.