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MAX LOUSADA ON
THE BRITS

Chairman of the BRITs committee and Warner Music U.K. boss Max Lousada has given a rare interview to the London Evening Standard, revealing some details about tonight’s ceremony. How will the David Bowie tribute compare with Gaga's Grammy mash-up? What are his views on criticism over the largely white lineup of nominees? And the question on everyone’s lips: Will Rihanna turn up?

Lousada is “assured” RiRi—who pulled out of last year’s BRITs with 24 hours to go—will perform on Wednesday after her Grammy no-show. “The set and the ideas and the surprises look massive,” he said. “So we’re going into it with a positive view. Second time lucky.”

Sources tell us the Bowie tribute has caused tension between the BPI and BRITs guests (including some nominees) due to their being downgraded from tables on the floor to balcony suites resulting from space issues. Nonetheless, it will be “much more British, slightly more understated” than Lady Gaga’s display at the Grammys. There will be no all-star lineup or single-artist spotlight, said Lousada: “I just want people to go away and say it was simple, it was respectful, and there was an understated class about it.”

British singers Laura Mvula and Lily Allen have criticised the BRITs this year due to the lack of diversity it represents. In response, Lousada said that when the BPI met with artists to find out if it was a shared issue, “there was more of a feeling of a letdown because certain musical genres weren’t represented—such as grime—rather than a racial balance. But at the Academy Awards, or any of these big shows, you have to realise that some of the criteria are [about representing] the acts that have sold the most,” he said, adding: “The Brits organisation will continuously evaluate the Brits Academy membership to ensure it represents a cross-section of people. Everyone’s got the right to debate what they feel strongly about on the Brits.”

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