North East and Yorkshire Artists Who’ve Won BRIT Awards
From Arctic Monkeys to Emeli Sandé and Sting, the North East and Yorkshire is home to a talented group of BRIT Award winners
We’re claiming Spice Girls in Yorkshire because Mel B is proudly from Leeds, and because, as a group, they’ve won so many BRITs we couldn’t miss then off our list: Best British Single and Best British Video in 1997, Best Selling British Album Act in 1998, Outstanding Contribution in 2000 and The BRITs Hits 30 Award in 2010. This girl power group need very little introduction and despite going their separate ways, their music is still spicing up our life.
While in their prime in 2006, this indie rock band from Leeds won British Group and British Rock Act at the BRIT Awards. And that’s before they’d even released their hit songs Ruby and Never Miss a Beat. They can thank I Predict a Riot and Everyday I Love You Less and Less for those awards.
This rock band were formed in Sheffield in 2002 with Alex Turner as the frontman and are still going strong today, albeit with a different sound. They won British Group and MasterCard British Album of the Year in 2008 following the releases of hit songs Mardy Bum and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor and won the same two awards in 2014 following the release of arguably their most popular album AM in 2013. This year, they’re nominated for Best Rock/Alternative Act and Group of the Year.
The Human League
English synth-pop band The Human League formed in Sheffield in 1977. After some lineup changes, in 1982, the band won Best British Newcomer award at the BRITs, and Martin Rushent also took Best Producer for his work on Dare. Legend has it that by the end of the awards party, vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley had one too many drinks and lost the trophy.
Trevor was born in Hetton Le Hole and grew up near the Stonebridge Pub in Durham. He’s won three Brit Awards for Best British Producer in 1983, 1985, and 1992 but he’s also a musician and composer in his own right. In 1984, Trevor was asked by Bob Geldof to produce Do They Know It's Christmas?, but he was unavailable. Instead, he gave use of Sarm West Studio free of charge to the project for 24 hours, so Midge Ure could produce the song.
Despite new wave band Duran Duran being formed in Birmingham, we’re going to claim them as our own thanks to guitarist Andy Taylor, who’s from Cullercoats and was also a member of supergroup the Power Station. The band’s first major hit was Girls on Film in 1981, but you’ll also know them for A View To Kill for the James Bond film of the same name (the first Bond theme to go to number one on the US charts). The group also featured on the Band Aid benefit single Do They Know It's Christmas?. They’ve won two BRIT Awards: one for British Video of the Year for Wild Boys in 1985 and one for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2004.
Best known for Eurythmics, his partnership with Annie Lennox, Sunderland-born Dave Stewart won Best British Producer at the 1986, 1987 and 1990 BRIT Awards. Dave has been involved in numerous projects throughout his career. In 2002, he worked with Nelson Mandela to turn his prison number into a telephone number, which if you rang you’d donate and hear songs written and recorded with Paul McCartney, Bono and Edge. That led to the 46664 campaign, a series of AIDS benefit concerts.
This indie rock group was formed in Hull in the 80s and has three top 10 albums. Their only chart-topping single was Caravan Of Love, but you might also know their other top 10 hit, Happy Hour. They won a BRIT for Best British Newcomer in 1987. After breaking up in 1988, members Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway formed The Beautiful South – also a BRIT Award-winning group.
Wallsend-born Sting was the frontman, songwriter and bassist for new wave band The Police from 1977 until 1986, but he’s a celebrated musician in his own right. He’s another artist who was involved in Do They Know It's Christmas?, but you’ll also know his tracks Every Breath You Take and Fields of Gold. To add to the many awards achieved throughout his career, he has also won three BRIT Awards: Best British Album in 1988, Best British Male Artist in 1994 and Outstanding Contribution in 2002.
The Beautiful South
The Beautiful South was an English pop rock group formed in 1988 in Hull by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, from The Housemartins. They had great success with their songs A Little Time and You Keep It All In. At the BRIT Awards in 1991 they won Best British Video for A Little Time. After a meeting in 2007, they decided to split and now Dave Hemingway is making music with his new band Sunbirds.
A pop singer from Bradford, Tasmin won the BRIT Award for British Breakthrough Act in 1993 and has since released three studio albums. Her first album, Great Expectations, was arguably the most popular, with the hit Sleeping Satellite reaching number one in the UK and Ireland.
This alternative pop rock band were formed in 2002 in Cheshire and are now based in Manchester. As much as frontman Matty Healy spent much of his youth in Manchester, he grew up in Newcastle with his famous parents Denise Welch and Tim Healy – and the band’s sax player is a proud Notherner. They’ve just finished a successful UK tour and they’re nominated for MasterCard Album of the Year, Group of the Year and Best Rock/Alternative Act at the BRITs this year. They’re already BRIT Award winners having won Best British Group and Best British Single in 2017 and Best British Group and MasterCard Album of the Year in 2019.
With two proud North East girls (Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards) in this popular group, how could we miss them off our list? Having taken a break recently, and losing a member in 2020, there’s rumour that Jade has signed a solo deal. In the 2017 Brit Awards, Little Mix won their first BRIT Award for Best British Single for Shout Out to My Ex, making them the first girl group since Girls Aloud to receive one. In 2021, they won Best British Group.
Last but not least is North Shields’ singer-songwriter Sam Fender. Since winning the Critics’ Choice award in 2019, he’s gone from strength to strength. He’s proud of his Geordie roots and is still producing hit after hit. Last year he won Best Rock/Alternative Act and his BRIT awards are now beer hand pulls at his local pub, Low Lights Tavern in North Shields.
Created on the ITV talent show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, Girls Aloud released plenty of hits but it wasn’t until 2009 that they won their BRIT Award for Best British Single for The Promise. Geordie member of the group Cheryl went on to become a successful solo artist and talent show judge, and she’s now trying her hand in the West End, being cast in 2:22: A Ghost Story.
Although he was raised in Framlingham, Suffolk (which is referenced in many of his songs), singer-songwriter Ed was actually born in Halifax, West Yorkshire. As one of our favourite musicians, he deserves his place in this list, especially as he’s won so many BRITs: British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist in 2012, British Male Solo Artist and MasterCard British Album in 2015 and BRITs Global Success Award in 2018 and 2019.
This Scottish multi-platinum selling singer, songwriter was born in Sunderland and became the University of Sunderland's Chancellor in July 2019. Before then, she won the Critics Choice Award at the BRITS in 2012, British Female Solo Artist and Mastercard British Album of the Year in 2013 and British Female Solo Artist in 2017.