Three nods for Lady Gaga as women lead way at Brits

LONDON: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Robbie Williams top the bill Tuesday at the 30th anniversary edition of Britain's top music awards the Brits, where this year's nominations are dominated by female artists.

Flamboyant US superstar Lady Gaga is up for three awards, as are homegrown talents Lily Allen, Florence And The Machine and Pixie Lott.

The show has even received royal approval -- Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, has recorded a special message to be played at the event, at London's Earls Court venue Tuesday evening.

Lady Gaga, whose single "Poker Face" was Britain's top seller last year, is in the running for best international female solo artist, best international album and best international breakthrough act.

Allen and Florence And The Machine are in contention for best British female solo artist and best British album, while Allen is up for best British single ("The Fear") and Florence And The Machine best British breakthrough act.

Lott is up for for best British female solo artist, best British breakthrough act and best British single.

"I'm just really excited," she told Sky News television. "British females have really taken over, it's definitely girl power -- females are leading at the moment."

Williams will receive a lifetime achievement award amid reports he could take to the stage with his former band Take That, who have staged a highly successful comeback in recent years.

Jay-Z is to appear live with Alicia Keys, who guests on his hit "Empire State Of Mind".

There will also be a performance from Cheryl Cole, whose Chelsea footballer husband Ashley is at the centre of reports about an alleged sex text flirtation with another woman.

The Brits has witnessed a host of headline-grabbing incidents over the years.

In 1996, Michael Jackson's performance of "Earth Song" was interrupted when Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker ran across the stage and waved his bottom in Jackson's direction.

And the following year, Britain's then deputy prime minister John Prescott had a bucket of iced water thrown over him by Danbert Nobacon of anarchist band Chumbawamba.

This year's event also features two awards designed to mark 30 years of the Brits -- best album of the past three decades and best Brits performance.

Best album nominees include "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits, "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" by Oasis and Duffy's "Rockferry".

Those up for best performance include "Stayin' Alive/How Deep Is Your Love?" by the Bee Gees, Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" and "Clocks" by Coldplay.