The Darkness top Brits shortlist

By Anita SinghSUFFOLK retro-rockers the Darkness lead the field for next month's Brit Awards with four nominations.The band from Lowestoft are up for best British group, best British breakthrough, best British rock and best British album for Permission to Land.

By Anita Singh

SUFFOLK retro-rockers the Darkness lead the field for next month's Brit Awards with four nominations.

The band from Lowestoft are up for best British group, best British breakthrough, best British rock and best British album for Permission to Land.

Dido has three nominations including best British female - an accolade she is almost sure to win.


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Boy band Busted, whose Charlie Simpson is a former Framlingham College pupil, are up for three awards. Daniel Bedingfield and Mercury Music prize-winner Dizzee Rascal also have three nominations apiece.

The Brit Awards will take place at Earl's Court in London on February 17 and will be broadcast live on ITV1.

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The Darkness, Dido, Busted, 50 Cent, Black Eyed Peas and Duran Duran will all be performing at the star-studded event.

Dido is up against Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jamelia, Music veteran Annie Lennox and newcomer Amy Winehouse.

Aged just 20, Winehouse burst onto the music scene last year with her album Frank.

Critics hailed it as one of the most impressive debuts of recent years, with its fusion of jazz and R&B.

The young Londoner's voice has been described as reminiscent of Billie Holiday.

But she faces formidable opposition in the shape of Dido.

Her four nominations come after a year of phenomenal success for the singer.

Her second album Life For Rent was the biggest seller of 2003, selling 2.2 million copies in the UK and 8 million world wide since its release in September. The first single from the album, White Flag, went straight to No 1.

Best British Male is a race between Badly Drawn Boy, Daniel Bedingfield, David Bowie, Dizzee Rascal, and Will Young.

Former Pop Idol winner Will has just completed a successful comeback after a lengthy break from the charts.

His new album Friday's Child and single Leave Right Now both went straight in at No 1.

The triple nomination for Daniel Bedingfield comes as some welcome good news for the star.

The 24-year-old, who has had three No 1 hits, recently had a lucky escape from a car accident in New Zealand.

He suffered head and neck injuries and is expected to take months to recover fully.

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