Raye Sets Record at BRIT Awards, Britain’s Pop Music Honors

LONDON — Singer-songwriter Raye was the big winner Saturday at the BRIT Awards, the biggest night in British music, setting a new record for most prizes in one night at the annual ceremony.

Raye won six awards, including for artist of the year, album of the year for My 21st Century Blues and song of the year for Escapism.

The 26-year-old also triumphed in the genre category for R&B act and was named best new artist. Her tally of seven nods had broken the record for the most nominations by a single artist in any one year, according to the annual ceremony’s organizers, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Raye, who parted ways with her record label in 2021 to work as an independent artist after she said the label had withheld her debut album, began early celebrations this week, when she was named BRITs Songwriter of the Year. She is the first woman to win the award since its launch in 2022.

“You just don’t understand what this means to me,” a tearful Raye said in her acceptance speech for album of the year, while standing next to her grandmother, whom she also thanked for “her prayers.”

“I’m so proud of this album. I’m in love with music. All I ever wanted to be was an artist and now I’m an artist with an album of the year.”

Jungle won group of the year, while rock band Bring Me the Horizon won the alternative/rock act category, beating the likes of Blur and The Rolling Stones.

Blur, who had three nominations, went home empty-handed.

Dua Lipa, who also had three nominations, won pop act.

More than half, 55%, of this year’s nominations featured women, either as a solo artist or as part of an all-woman group, the BPI said.

Artist of the year is a gender-neutral category now counting 10 nominees after organizers doubled its number following an outcry over an all-male list of contenders last year.

U.S. singer SZA won the gender-neutral international artist of the year category, which also now counts 10 nominees, beating the likes of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. The latter won international song of the year for her hit Flowers.

Indie rock band boygenius won international group of the year.

Ahead of the awards, Kylie Minogue was named as this year’s BRITs Global Icon, while indie rock band The Last Dinner Party were revealed as winners of the rising star award. 

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