UK singer-songwriter Raye sweeps Brit Awards

LONDON – Rising star Raye swept the UK’s top music awards on Feb 2, setting a record for winning the most prizes in a single year.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter scooped six awards, including Best Artist, R&B Act, New Artist, Song of the Year for Escapism and Album for My 21st Century Blues.

Her award for best songwriter was pre-announced.

Accepting the best new artist award she called the win “overwhelming”, adding “this is wild”.

“What is actually happening right now?” a delighted Raye told the audience at London’s O2 arena.

“The artiste I was three years ago would not believe the sight she is seeing today. I’m in control, I’m my own boss now,” she declared.

She had made history even before the ceremony started by being nominated for a record seven prizes in one year.

The Londoner, whose real name is Rachel Keen, had been up against six other female artists out of the 10 shortlisted in the gender neutral Best Artist category following a controversy last year.

Not a single female artiste ended up being shortlisted in the category in 2023 after the merging of the Best Female and Male Artist categories for the first time a year earlier.

That led Brit Awards chairman Damian Christian to complain about a “disappointing lack of female representation”, blaming a dearth of eligible 2022 releases by big female stars.

In 2024, the shortlist was extended from five to 10 and included Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware, newcomer Olivia Dean, and Mercury Prize winners Little Simz and Arlo Parks, as well as Raye.

This year’s awards also saw prizes go to Dua Lipa for Best Pop Act, US singer-songwriter SZA for International Artist and US indie supergroup Boygenius for International Group.

Kylie Minogue was honoured with the Brit Awards global icon prize.

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