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Bastille, Disclosure lead top UK music awards, Bowie returns

Musicians Howard (L) and Guy Lawrence of the British electronic band Disclosure, nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, poses for a photogra
Musicians Howard (L) and Guy Lawrence of the British electronic band Disclosure, nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, poses for a photogra

By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Pop acts Bastille and Disclosure led the field for Britain's top music awards on Thursday with four nominations each, while veteran singer David Bowie was up for two of the annual BRIT Awards in a list dominated by a newcomers.

Alternative rock band Bastille and the electronic duo Disclosure of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence were both in the running for best British group and British breakthrough act of the year, while also competing for best single and best album.

Bastille was recognized for its single "Pompeii" and debut album "Bad Blood". Disclosure was put forward for its single with another electronic music duo, AlunaGeorge, called "White Noise" and its debut album "Settle".

"We're completely blown away by the four nominations! When we started the band we never thought we'd be recognized in such a way so the whole thing is an awesome surprise," Dan Smith from four-member Bastille, which formed in 2010, said in a statement.

But while newcomers led the nominations, veteran singer Bowie, 67, reappeared on the list after a comeback last year when he released his first new material for a decade.

Bowie was nominated for best male singer and best album for "The Next Day" with the winners to be announced in a glitzy show on February 19. He has won two BRIT awards previously including best male singer 30 years ago.

Vying for best British male artist with Bowie are 19-year-old Jake Bugg, 25-year-old James Blake, and John Newman and Tom Odell, who are both aged 23.

Close behind Bastille and Disclosure in terms of nominations with three each were Ellie Goulding, who sang at Prince William and his wife Kate's wedding reception in 2011, and drum and bass dance collective Rudimental.

UK ACTS MAKING GLOBAL MARK

Goulding was in the running for best female artist against Birdy, Jessie J, Laura Marling and Laura Mvula, and with two singles in the mix - "Burn" and the joint single with Calvin Harris, dance pop anthem "I Need Your Love".

Rudimental was competing with Bowie, Bastille and Disclosure for the night's biggest award, best album, with "Home". The fifth contender in the field was Arctic Monkeys with "AM".

Absent from the album list was boy band One Direction which notched up the biggest seller of 2013 when its third album "Midnight Memories" sold 685,000 copies in six weeks.

One Direction, which has achieved fame with teens worldwide since being formed for the TV singing contest The X Factor in 2010, was nominated in two categories -- best British group alongside Arctic Monkeys, Bastille, Disclosure and Rudimental, and best single with "One Way Or Another".

The five-boy band was seen a likely winner for the "global success award" that recognizes overseas record sales.

In the international categories, Bruno Mars, Drake, Eminem, John Grant and Justin Timberlake were nominated for best male.

Janelle Monae, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lorde and Pink were up for best female, while Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Haim, Kings of Leon, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis compete for best album.

The awards come at a time when data from British record industry association BPI and the Official Charts Company show total retail-value sales of recorded music fell 0.5 percent year-on-year to 1.04 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in 2013.

But British business group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), on Thursday forecast good growth for UK artists over the next decade with the right support.

"Artists like Adele and One Direction are renowned across the globe, and we believe the UK music industry has the potential to double its share of US album sales by 2025," said CBI Chief Policy Director Katja Hall in a statement.

Figures from CBI showed British artists accounted for 13.7 percent of the $7.1 billion U.S. recorded music market in 2012, up from 11 percent the previous year.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Mike Collett-White)

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