David Bowie has proven that at 67 he can still rock it as hard as the current generation by being nominated for two Brit awards with a group of artists who are each more than 40 years younger than he is.
The Brits are Britain’s leading music awards, and are comparable to the Grammys. David Bowie has the chance to take one home for being named the best male British artist of the year as well as for the album of the year. His album, The Next Day, was released as a surprise this year after a drought of ten years since the last Bowie album was released.
In the Best British Male Solo Artist Award category, David Bowie faces competition from James Blake, 25, Tom Odell, 23, John Newman, 23, and Jake Bugg, 19. The last time Bowie won best male artist was in 1984 for his album Let’s Dance, which was before any of his competition had been born, although he did receive an “outstanding contribution” award in 1996. This is the fifth time he has nominated for a Best Male Solo Artist Brit Award, but he has only won the one time.
Other British artists nominated for best album this year include Bastille, with four nominations, Rudimental, with three, and Ellie Goulding, who was also nominated three times. The ubiquitous boy band, One Direction, has only two nominations.
Although David Bowie’s album has received nominations for a Q Award and a Mercury Prize, it has yet to win an award. He has also been nominated for a Grammy Award, which will take place later this year.
Women nominated for female British artist of the year are Laura Marling, Birdy, Laura Marling and Laura Mvula. Artists nominated for international awards are Drake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Eminem, Katy Perry, Arcade Fire and Lady Gaga among others. The majority of winners are selected by a ballot of over 1000 members of the music industry, while some awards are chosen by a public vote.
Although David Bowie has been active in the music industry for over four decades, being nominated for two Brit Awards proves that he still rocks. With his distinctive voice and intelligent, eclectic lyrics, Bowie is considered a legend in music. He burst onto the music scene in 1969 with the song “Space Oddity.” In 1972, he appeared as Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous character of his own invention. Ziggy Stardust would record the hit song, “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
His first American hit came in 1975 with the song “Fame” and the successful album Young Americans. Among his most highly praised work were three projects known as the “Berlin Trilogy” albums which were a collaboration with famed producer Brian Eno. He had success in 1980 with the single “Ashes to Ashes” and in 1981 with “Under Pressure.” His most commercially successful album was 1983’s Let’s Dance. Since then, Bowie has continued writing and recording music of all genres. His last tour ended in 2004 and he last performed live in 2006. The release of The Next Day, for which he has earned two Brit award nominations, came as a surprise to the industry in March 2013 and has been highly praised.
The awards will be announced on Feb. 19 at London’s O2 Arena. The ceremony will be filled with music and feature performances by Katy Perry, Bastille and Arctic Monkeys. Among those present is sure to be David Bowie, nominated for two Brit awards and still rocking hard at 67.
By Jennifer Pfalz
El Paso Inc.