R&B star Craig David, championed by music critics and worshipped by fans, led the pop pack on Monday when nominated for four Brit awards - the ultimate accolade in one of the world's most influential pop markets.
But flamboyant rock star Robbie Williams was out to steal a few headlines. He already holds the all-time record with nine Brit awards and is bidding for two more on February 26, the big night of the year for the industry that revels in hype.
Williams, who amassed his impressive collection with the boy band Take That and then as a solo artist, will be performing live at the glittering London show where he last wowed audiences in a pelvis-thrusting duet with veteran Welsh rocker Tom Jones.
And one of the most fiercely contested awards will be for Best International Female Artist - newly married Madonna is pitted against teen sensation Britney Spears and Australia's curvaceous Kylie Minogue.
In just nine months since the release of his debut single "Fill Me In", Craig David has risen to the top in a fiercely competitive and fickle business. He was rewarded with nominations for Best British Album, Best Male, Dance Act and Newcomer.
Veteran Irish rock band U2, whose latest album has twinned critical acclaim with cash register clout, are to be honoured at this year's ceremony with a lifetime achievement award. Previous recipients range from the Bee Gees to Fleetwood Mac.
WESTLIFE GUN FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL GROUPIreland's Westlife, the boyband that swept all before them in the millennium pop charts, take on U2 as well as The Corrs, Savage Garden and Santana in the battle to be named Best International Group.
Despite a power cut that temporarily plunged the nominations party into chaos, the British record industry was in buoyant form, boasting that 11 of the top current 100 in the U.S. Billboard charts are from Britain.
And 30 years after their breakup, the Beatles were celebrating the worldwide success of their greatest hits album.
Dido, who was sampled on the Eminem hit "Stan", currently holds a top 10 position in the American charts with her album "No Angel". In the Best British Female Artist, she is taking on the sultry Sade and R&B diva Jamelia.
But 2001 proved a great year for rock as well with Coldplay boasting three nominations and Radiohead two. David Gray, who waited seven years to become one of Britain's most acclaimed singer-songwriters, also bids for two awards.
The awards ceremony is a constant source of entertainment to showbusiness writers - every year the big names of the pop business are fuelled by drink and tempted into publicity stunts.
Jarvis Cocker memorably burst into Michael Jackson's performance and a member of the group Chumbawamba poured a bucket of iced water over British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
For, as one of the organisers conceded, "if past years are anything to go by, there will be a plentiful supply of celebrity gossip and scandal".