The Brits Are Coming

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FRONT RUNNER: London Rapper Miss Dynamite

The Brit awards — the U.K. music industry's showcase bash — have been making headlines since they were launched in 1977. But usually those headlines are less about the music being celebrated than the musicians' booze-fueled antics. Pulp's Jarvis Cocker invading the stage to waggle his bottom during an overblown Michael Jackson performance in 1996 remains a memorable hit. So does Chumbawamba drenching Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in water in '98.

But this week's ceremony is meant to be liquor-free, because the Brits are growing up — choosing from a more thoughtful list of nominations and promising...

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