Brit Awards: Skepta and Bowie expected to win prizes

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Skepta and David BowieImage source, Brit Awards/Getty Images
Image caption,
Skepta and Bowie are both listed in the best British album category

Skepta and David Bowie are among the stars expected to win at the Brit Awards on Wednesday night.

The grime star and the late rock icon are up for best British male. Other nominees at "music's biggest night" include Beyonce, The 1975 and Bastille.

Performances will come from Ed Sheeran and Little Mix, as well as US stars Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

There will also be a tribute to pop star George Michael, who died on Christmas Day.

The show kicks off at 19:30 on ITV and you can follow the red carpet action on BBC Music News Live from 15:00 GMT.

Dermot O'Leary and Emma Willis have been drafted in to present the ceremony at London's O2 Arena, after original host Michael Buble pulled out to care for his young son, who is receiving treatment for cancer.

Willis, a mum-of-three who presents The Voice UK and Big Brother, said she hoped she could "do him proud".

"Every part of me sends so much love and all the best wishes in the world to Michael and his family at such a difficult time," she said.

Media caption,

Best single nominee Zara Larsson on why she loves the Brit Awards

The star will introduce performances from the following acts:

  • Katy Perry - in her first UK TV appearance for three years
  • Ed Sheeran - premiering a brand new song
  • Robbie Williams - who receives the Brits Icon award
  • Bruno Mars
  • The 1975
  • Little Mix
  • Emeli Sande
  • Skepta

This year's ceremony is notable for its recognition of grime, which re-emerged from the underground last year, asserting its position as the UK's biggest musical movement since Britpop.

Skepta, who won the 2016 Mercury Prize for his self-released album Konnichiwa, is favourite to win best breakthrough artist; while fellow grime MCs Stormzy and Kano are also up for awards.

Bowie - who died in January last year - is likely to prevail in the best British male category, as the music industry takes its chance to honour one of rock's most recognisable and influential figures.

His haunting swansong, Blackstar, is also up for best British album.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Little Mix have three nominations

Pop group Little Mix tie with Skepta for the most-nominated act of the night - each has three.

The girl band look like they will be locked out of their categories, best group (likely to go to The 1975), best video (One Direction) and best single (Clean Bandit, for Rockabye).

But they have solid support from Stormzy, who's rooting for Jade, Perry, Leigh-Anne and Jesy to take home a trophy.

"They have smashed it," the grime star told BBC Newsbeat. "Their new song, Touch, is a banger. I can't even lie."

Meanwhile, Beyonce and her younger sister Solange Knowles are both up for best international female, after releasing albums about race and politics last year.

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