The BRITs are Coming: nominees for 2018 awards announced in style

By Rose Adams | 15 Jan 2018 | Brits

Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran lead the nominations while Critics Choice Award winner Jorja Smith wows with Stormzy, proving just why she's set to dominate the 2018 charts

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* BRIT Award nominee Liam Payne performing his hit 'Strip That Down' [Photos © John Marshall]

Saturday 13 January saw the exciting reveal of this year's BRIT Awards 2018 nominees live at The BRITS Are Coming, hosted by Emma Willis. The  entertainment show is consistently packed with brilliant performances, and this year was no different. Former One Direction star Liam Payne performed his 2017 hit ‘Strip That Down’ alongside an array of dancers busting out impressive moves. The track, nominated for Best British Single and Best Video at this year’s awards, was the first solo hit for the former 1D member, reaching number 2 in the charts. But Payne is up against some stiff competition in the British single category in the form of former bandmates Zayn Malik and Harry Styles. Malik is nomiated for his collaboration with Taylor Swift on ‘Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ and Styles for his piano ballad ‘Sign of The Times.’ 

While the night is primarily focused on the announcement of nominations, one star who was awarded her prize ahead of the BRITs show on 21 February, was this year's winner of the prestigious Critics' Choice, Jorja Smith. The attractive red gong, this year designed by Sir Anish Kapoor, has previously been won by global stars Sam Smith, Florence + the Machine and Adele. Jorja was presented her prize by last year’s winner Rag & Bone Man, before belting out a gripping rendition of her song ‘Let Me Down’ alongside big name grime artist Stormzy. No doubt Jorja will also follow in the footsteps of previous winners by dominating the charts this year.

Related: We take a look at the 5 most iconic BRITs moments as this year's nominations are announced

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* Jorja Smith, here performing with Stormzy, is this year's winner of the prestigious Critics Choice Award [Photos © John Marshall]

Arguably the biggest surprise of the night was RnB star Dua Lipa, who lead the way with most nominations, pipping hot favourite Ed Sheeran to the post. The ‘New Rules’ hitmaker scored an impressive five nominations for British Female Solo Artist, British Single, Album of the Year, Video of the Year and Breakthrough Act. Ed followed closely behind with four; including British Male Solo Artist, Video and British Single, both for Shape of You, and the album award for Divide, the UK's biggest-selling album of last year.

Despite a very successful 2017 with the release of his album ‘The Thrill of It All’, Sam Smith received no award nominations.Viewers were treated to live performances from other nominees including Paloma Faith and Clean Bandit. The musical three-piece created the captivating illusion that member Jack Patterson was playing a suspended piano thanks to some amazing technical wizardry.

The 2018 BRIT Awards will be aired on ITV on 21 February, live from London's O2 Arena. For the first time this year, Tempus will be headline partners of the star-studded official party at the InterContinental Hotel – London O2. Watch this space for more details...