Steps in 2020

BPI: Belle & Sebastian were eligible for Brit

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The BPI said yesterday that a “reinterpretation” of the rules for the Brit Awards allowed for the inclusion of eventual winners Belle & Sebastian in the best newcomer category. According to a spokeswoman, the decision on eligibility in the category was made by the BPI’s Brits committee last November, before the lists – and a set of rules that would have disqualified the band – were circulated to the industry voting academy that selects the nominees.

The spokeswoman told Billboard Bulletin that 12 other bands including Propellerheads and Cornershop were added to the list as a result of the decision. The “reinterpretation” affected the rule disqualifying acts as newcomers if they had appeared in the UK top 75 singles or album charts prior to the period covered by that year’s Brits.

It was decided that this rule should apply only to albums.

“The reinterpretation didn’t change the rules, so they didn’t think it needed to be communicated to the academy,” says the spokeswoman. “As far as the Brit Awards are concerned, Belle & Sebastian were, and remain, eligible.”

The BPI did not comment on allegations of voting irregularities, nor mention if there would be an independent investigation into how the vote was conducted. Such a probe has been requested by producer and BPI council member Pete Waterman, whose act Steps lost to Belle & Sebastian by 71 votes.


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