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BRIT Awards

The BRIT Awards, often simply called The BRITs, are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of British or Britannia, but has subsequently become a backronym for British Record Industry Trust.

The awards were founded by BPI - British Phonographic Industry - which is the British record industry's trade association in 1977 as the Britannia Awards.

In 1989 they were renamed the Britannia Music Awards to echo sponsorship by Britannia Music Club and this was shortened to BRIT Awards. BRIT is also an acronym for the British Record Industry Trust. Since the affiliation with Britannia Music Club was dropped, MasterCard has been the long-time sponsor of this annual event.

The BRITs Academy is reviewed every summer, and each member is sent lists of all the artists, songs and albums eligible to receive awards. It is from this long list that the nominees and winners are selected in each category. All academy votes are collected online, and are counted and verified by official scrutinisers ERS - Electoral Reform Services.

The BRITs Academy comprises of 1,000 people from across the UK music business, the Academy’s membership is selected by the BPI.

The BRIT Awards were broadcast live until the notorious 1989 Brit Awards presented by Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood. Subsequently, the event was recorded and broadcast the following night. From 2007, the BRIT Awards reverted to a live broadcast on British television, on 14 February on ITV. The ceremony was hosted by Russell Brand.