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Mika, Take That Lead Brit Award Nominations

January 15, 2008 6:02 PM ET

The Brit Awards (the U.K.'s version of the Grammys) announced their nominations this morning, with British boy-band revivalists Take That (a.k.a. Robbie Williams' old group) and piano-pop crooner Mika leading the way with four nominations each. For the non-Anglophiles out there, here is Rock Daily's handy guide to the nominated artists you might not know. The awards will be handed out on February 20th.

Leona Lewis: Also nominated for four awards, Lewis had several gigantic hit singles in England after winning the third season of the American Idol-esque show X-Factor. Her debut album Spirit will be released in the U.S. in March.

Richard Hawley: A former member of Nineties indie stalwarts the Longpigs and Britpop legends Pulp, Hawley's fifth solo album Lady's Bridge reached number six on the U.K. charts.

Newton Faulkner: If Prince was an English hippie who was obsessed with Bobby McFerrin-esque percussion and had long cinnamon dreadlocks, you'd have Faulkner. His album Hand Built By Robots peaked at Number One on the U.K. charts.

Bat For Lashes: Natasha Khan plays exquisite chamber pop that includes string quartets, zithers and lyrics about magical horses. Though her album had a minor breakout here, Fur and Gold was a minor phenomenon across the pond.

Jamie T: Equal parts rock, rap and bedroom folk, Jamie T’s debut album Panic Prevention is a jittery, eclectic concept album about his own panic attacks. Because of his high-strung nature, he has gained a reputation as a damaged genius in his home country.

Related Stories:
Rolling Stone's 10 Artists to Watch: Mika
Paul McCartney to Receive Special Brit Award
Breaking Artist: Bat for Lashes

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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