The British music industry gathers for the annual Brit Awards tonight, with performances by Adele, Rihanna, Coldplay and Justin Bieber and an all-star tribute to late rock star David Bowie.
Pop superstar Adele is up for four awards at the annual Brit Awards, including in the best solo female artist category, in which soul singer Amy Winehouse is also nominated.
Winehouse gets her second Brits nod since her premature death in 2011 for the soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated documentary "Amy" by Asif Kapadia.
Singer-songwriter James Bay and British electronic trio Years and Years have also received four nods each, while pop dance star Jess Glynne and DJ Calvin Harris each have three.
Grammy winner Ed Sheeran is up for best video and best single for "Bloodstream" with Rudimental, while six-time Brit winners Coldplay are up for best group and best album for their seventh and possibly last LP, A Head Full of Dreams.
Award organizers have promised a "fitting tribute" to Bowie, the British rock legend who died last month, with rumours of a performance by an A-list supergroup.
Media reports suggest it could include former Britpop rivals Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn, Bono, Coldplay and Adele, but a spokeswoman for the event would not confirm.
Lady Gaga set the bar high with a razzmatazz tribute at the Grammys that featured a hologram of Bowie, one of the most influential and flamboyant figures in pop culture.
But the event has been criticized for playing it too safe and this year has drawn fire for failing to recognize the broad range of British music, particularly at street level.
Alexis Petridis, the Guardian newspaper's rock and pop critic, accused the Brits of "making British pop music look more boring than it actually is".
He said the absence of grime artists in particular gave the impression that British music is "an endless sea of rounded-edge singer-songwriters, derivative pop-house and middling, putatively 'alt' rock".
Laura Mvula, a soul singer shortlisted for the critic's choice award at the 2013 Brits, said she would not be attending this year because of "the diversity issue".
"The problem for me is knowing that there are young black kids growing up feeling that they're not acknowledged in society, in media and in mainstream music," she told the BBC.
Adding to the fireworks, Big Narstic went on the the Beeb’s Channel 4 News and dropped a nasty this week: "Years ago when I was making music, I was sending it off to radio stations and getting told it was ‘too urban’. But what else am I supposed to make? I come from Brixton. None of my friends go to places like Selfridges. I’m a regular at the pound shop! So what am I supposed to impress you with?”
Brits organizer bosses replied with the following statement, first issued to The Mirror: “There are no individual awards for specific genres, and since only a small number of BRITs are awarded every year, the artists who are honoured tend to be those who have achieved the very highest levels of chart success."
Justin Bieber’s presence as a performer is bound to set off a maelstrom of erudite discussion, and a possible boycott of the event by non-whites could further add already unwanted publicity to an annual that promises to become as legendary for its diversity issues as the Oscars. No doubt the Juno organizers will be sitting on pins and needles tonight, texting CTV and wondering what Schitt’s Creek could possibly be coming their way.