BT Digital Music Awards 2011

Written by: Julia Collins

It seems that the collection of numbers in BT’s little black book is surprisingly small.

Either that or many of the music stars nominated in the BT Digital Music Awards were washing their hair at exactly the same time or were all trapped under heavy rocks.

The Roundhouse in Camden was the venue for the 11th year of the awards, hosted by Caroline Flack and Rufus Hound who, despite less-than-sparkling off-autocue banter, make a decent fist of the presenting duties.

Jessie J was the big winner of the night, taking Best Female, Best Newcomer and Best Song for Price Tag but her non-appearance meant that her record company representatives had a busy time collecting the prizes on her behalf.

And she wasn’t the only non-show of the night, proving that these awards have some way to go before they can compete with the likes of The Brits.

In fact, none of the nominees in the categories of Best Female Artist, Best International Group or Artist, Best Song or Artist of The Year put in an appearance.

Despite having three out of the six entries in the Best Song category and being the first UK artist to pass the 1m download mark for one of them, Adele’s only win was for Best Independent Artist or Group and was collected by her digital marketing team.

And in Best Male Artist, Best Group, Best Video and Best Artist Promotion, the only ones to show up were the eventual winners of each prize.

Earlier in the evening I had asked the girl standing next to me if she had spotted any musicians among the attendees as I so far drawn a blank despite usually being able to spot a famous face a mile off.

She replied that she hadn’t so far but between us we eventually found Olly Murs, JLS and Kaiser Chiefs who took away the awards for being those nominees in their categories who turned up but perhaps stretched the definition of genuine music stars to a rather desperate limit.

BBC 6 Music’s Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish raised a few smiles as they accepted the award for Best Radio Show or Podcast with Buxton asking if the win meant that event sponsors BT could now solve the problems he was having with their customer services department.

A small group of of Brit School pupils shepherded to the spot in the front of the stage provided an enthusiastic audience for the night’s performers and Rizzle Kicks got them jumping in unison with two tracks including single Down With The Trumpets.

Other acts taking to the stage included Maverick Sabre, Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts, Marina and the Diamonds, former Busted and Fightstar frontman Charlie Simpson and Ed Sheeran.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year winner Sheeran sprinted to the main stage after collecting his award and closed the show with the best performance of the night, showing why he has gone from unknown to acclaimed in just a few short months.

But if these awards are ever to be taken seriously by anyone outside of BT, the digital music industry and record company minions on a jolly they may need to harness a little more in the way of genuine star power.

The winners:

Best Male Artist: Olly Murs

Best Female Artist: Jessie J

Best Group: JLS

Best International Artist or Group: Bruno Mars

Best Independent Artist or Group: Adele

Best Newcomer: Jessie J

Best Song: Jessie J ft BOB – Price Tag

Best Video: JLS with Tinie Tempah – Eyes Wide Shut

Best Place To Discover Music: Radio 1 Online

Best Place To Hear Music: YouTube

Best Place To Buy Music: iTunes

Best Music App: Orange Glastonbury 2011 app

Best Event: Coca-Cola Music – 24 Hour Session with Maroon 5

Best Artist Promotion: Kaiser Chiefs – The Future Is Medieval album launch

Best Radio Show or Podcast: The Adam & Joe Show

Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Ed Sheeran

Artist of the Year: The Streets

Best Innovation or Gadget: SoundCloud

People’s Choice Award for Best Official Site for an Artist:

People’s Choice Award for Best Fan Site for an Artist:



Author: Julia Collins

My favourite film is French, which means that I can pretend to be really deep. I can often be found at gigs and festivals dancing enthusiastically and very badly to the music I love, even if no one else is.

Read more posts by

Leave a comment