Bruno Mars’ Silk Sonic Earns Brit Awards Nod for Best International Group

Bruno Mars is a Brit Awards nominee this year…

The 36-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and his Silk Sonic group mate Anderson .Paak are among this year’s Brit Awards nominees.

Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic, Anderson .PaakMars’ Silk Sonic is nominated in the International Group category.

Mars has previously won three Brit Awards as a solo artist, including International Male Solo Artist in 2012 and 2014.

The nominations were announced on Saturday on an hour-long television special, The Brits Are Comingwhich aired on ITV and ITV Hub.

The awards will be presented on February 8 at the O2 Arena in London.

Here’s the complete list of nominees.

Artist of the year
Adele, Columbia, Sony Music
Dave, Dave Neighbourhood, Universal Music
Ed Sheeran, Asylum, Warner Music
Little Simz, Age 101/Awal
Sam Fender, Polydor, Universal Music

Coldplay, Parlophone, Warner Music
D-Block Europe, D-Block Europe, Universal Music
Little Mix, RCA, Sony Music
London Grammar, Ministry Of Sound, Sony Music
Wolf Alice, Dirty Hit 

Brits Rising Star (Panel of critics, influencers, writers and composers; in association with BBC Radio 1)
Winner: Holly Humberstone, Polydor, Universal Music
Bree Runway EMI, Universal Music
Lola Young, Island, Universal Music

Song of the year
(Top 15 identified By peak eight weeks of sales in the U.K. Chart. Winner identified by voting academy. In association with Mastercard. Media Partner Global Media via Capital FM)
A1 & J1, “Latest Trends,” EMI, Universal Music
Adele, “Easy on Me,” Columbia, Sony Music
Anne-Marie/KSI/Digital Farm Animals, “Don’t Play Asylum”/BMG, Warner Music
Becky Hill & David Guetta, “Remember,” Polydor/Parlophone, Universal Music/Warner Music
Central Cee, “Obsessed With You,” Central Cee (Parlophone For Pinkpantheress), Central Cee/Warner Music
Dave featuring Stormzy, “Clash,” Dave Neighbourhood, Universal Music
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits,” Asylum, Warner Music
Elton John & Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart (Pnau Mix),” EMI/Warner Records, Universal Music/Warner Music
Glass Animals, “Heat Waves,” Polydor, Universal Music
Joel Corry/Raye/David Guetta, “Bed,” Asylum/Platoon/Parlophone, Warner Music
KSI, “Holiday,” BMG
Nathan Evans/220Kid/Billen Ted, “Wellerman,” Polydor, Universal Music
Riton X Nightcrawlers feat. Mufasa & Hypeman, “Friday” (Dopamine Re-Edit) Ministry of Sound, Sony Music
Tion Wayne & Russ Millions, “Body,” Atlantic, Warner Music
Tom Grennan, “Little Bit of Love,” Insanity, Sony Music

Best new artist
Central Cee, Central Cee, Warner Music
Griff, Warner Records, Warner Music
Joy Crookes, Insanity/Speakerbox Recordings, Sony Music
Little Simz, Age 101/Awal
Self Esteem, Fiction, Universal Music

Album of the year
Adele, 30, Columbia, Sony Music
Dave, We’re All Alone in This Together, Dave Neighbourhood, Universal Music
Ed Sheeran, =, Asylum, Warner Music
Little Simz, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, Age 101/Awal
Sam Fender, Seventeen Going Under, Polydor, Universal Music

Producer of the year
(Independent panel; to be announced in January)

Songwriter of the year
(Independent panel; to be announced in January)

Genre categories
(The genre category winners will be decided by the public powered by TikTok)

Rock, alternative
Coldplay, Parlophone, Warner Music
Glass Animals, Polydor, Universal Music
Sam Fender, Polydor, Universal Music
Tom Grennan, Insanity, Sony Music
Wolf Alice, Dirty Hit

Hip-hop, grime, rap
AJ Tracey, AJ Tracey/Revenge Records
Central Cee, Central Cee, Warner Music
Dave, Dave Neighbourhood, Universal Music
Ghetts, Warner Records, Warner Music
Little Simz, Age 101/Awal

Becky Hill, Polydor, Universal Music
Calvin Harris, Columbia, Sony Music
Fred Again, Atlantic, Warner Music
Joel Corry, Asylum, Warner Music
Raye, Platoon

Pop, R&B
Adele, Columbia, Sony Music
Dua Lipa, Warner Records, Warner Music
Ed Sheeran, Asylum, Warner Music
Griff, Warner Records, Warner Music
Joy Crookes, Insanity/Speakerbox Recordings, Sony Music

International artist
Billie Eilish, Polydor/Interscope. Universal Music
Doja Cat, Ministry of Sound, Sony Music
Lil Nas X, RCA, Sony Music
Olivia Rodrigo, Polydor/Geffen, Universal Music
Taylor Swift, EMI, Universal Music

International group
ABBA, Polydor, Universal Music
BTS, Big Hit Entertainment/Polydor, Universal Music
Måneskin, Columbia, Sony Music
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars/Anderson. Paak), Atlantic, Warner Music
The War on Drugs, Atlantic, Warner Music

International song of the year (Top 15 identified by peak eight weeks of sales in the U.K.
chart. Winner identified by voting academy.)
ATB/Topic/A7S, “Your Love (9PM),” EMI/Positiva, Universal Music
Billie Eilish, “Happier Than Ever,” Polydor/Interscope. Universal Music
Ckay, “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah),” Parlophone, Warner Music
Doja Cat featuring SZA, “Kiss Me More,” Ministry Of Sound, Sony Music
Drake featuring Lil Baby, “Girls Want Girls,” Ovo/Republic Records, Universal Music
Galantis/Guetta/Little Mix, “Heartbreak Anthem,” Atlantic/RCA, Sony Music, Warner Music
Jonasu, “Black Magic,” 3 Beat, Universal Music
The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber, “Stay,” EMI/RCA, Sony Music/Universal Music
Lil Nas X, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” RCA, Sony Music
Lil Tjay & 6lack, “Calling My Phone,” Columbia/Polydor/Interscope, Sony Music, Universal Music
Måneskin, “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” Columbia, Sony Music
Olivia Rodrigo, “Good 4 U,” Polydor/Geffen, Universal Music
Polo G, “Rapstar,” Columbia, Sony Music
Tiësto, “The Business,” Atlantic, Warner Music
The Weeknd, “Save Your Tears,” Republic Records/XO, Universal Music

Rafael Nadal Defeats Defending Champion Stefanos Tsitsipas to Advance to ATP Finals Semifinals

Rafael Nadal is still in the running… 

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis star has advanced to the semifinals at the ATP Finals for the first time in five years after knocking out the defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Thursday at the O2 Arena.

Rafael Nadal

It is the sixth time in 10 appearances that Nadal has reached the semifinals of the season-ending tournament, which is the biggest title he has yet to win in his illustrious career.

Tsitsipas won it on his first try last year, but exited after a second loss of the group stage, done in by a shaky serve in the third set, during which he was broken three times.

Nadal never looked threatened on his serve against Tsitsipas until the final game of the second set, when he double-faulted to hand the Greek player a way back into the match.

“I think I was winning my serves quite comfortably until that moment,” Nadal said. “After that, everything changed.”

Suddenly, neither player could hold serve as the third set started with three straight breaks, with Nadal taking a 2-1 lead. The Spaniard finally held and broke again for a 5-2 lead before clinching the win on his second match point.

Nadal, who improved to 6-1 against Tsitsipas, will play Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals on Saturday.

Rafael Nadal Wins Opening Group Match at ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal has started his ATP Finals experience on a winning note…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis star made easy work of Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s late match, beating the Russian 6-3, 6-4 in just 1 hour, 17 minutes inside a largely empty O2 Arena.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal is hoping to cap off a season in which he earned his record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title and 1,000th match win on tour by capturing his first-ever trophy at the ATP Finals. He has qualified for the season-ending event for a record 16 straight years, but has lost in the final twice and missed six editions because of injuries.

Nadal steered the evening match in his direction from the start, losing just five points on his serve in the first set. He broke for a 4-2 lead when Rublev sent a shot long, and the Russian then slammed his racket into the ground in frustration.

Rublev entered the tournament as one of the hottest players on tour, having won five titles this season, but looked unsettled against Nadal and continuously gesticulated and shouted to himself between points.

Nadal broke in the opening game of the second set as well and never faced a break point of his own. He served out the win on his second match point when Rublev’s return sailed long.

This is the 12th and last year that the ATP Finals is played at the 02 Arena before moving to Turin, Italy, next year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic there are no fans inside the 20,000-capacity venue this time — meaning the normally raucous atmosphere has been replaced by an eerie silence interrupted only by muted applause from the players’ boxes between points.

There are also no line judges, as the tournament is using electronic line calling for the first time. The system means players can no longer challenge whether a ball was in or out as those calls get made automatically. However, they can request a video review for other disputed situations, such as double bounces.

Julio Cesar Martinez to Fight Flyweight World Titleholder Charlie Edwards

Julio Cesar Martinez is ready to take on the champ…

The 24-year-old Mexican boxer is set to fight flyweight world titleholder Charlie Edwards on August 31 at the O2 Arena in London, as Edwards makes his mandatory title defense, according to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

Julio Cesar Martinez

The bout, Edwards’ second title defense, will be part of the card headlined by pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenkodefending his unified lightweight world title — and an attempt to claim a vacant belt as well — against England’s Luke Campbell.

Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs) earned the title shot by knocking out then-undefeated Andrew Selby, of Wales, in the fifth round on March 23 in Mexico.

“He’s a very tough Mexican who can bang with both hands,” Edwards said of Martinez. “His record shows that he’s a massive puncher and we saw that in his last fight against Andrew Selby. He got him out of there in the fifth round and was hurting him on a number of occasions. He’s coming to bring it and he’s going to try and rip that WBC title off me. This is his World Cupfinal.

“He’s going to put it all on the line. He’s going to be coming hard and fast from early to try and put me under pressure, but I believe my boxing skills and the experience that I’ve gained throughout my short pro career will see me through. I expect to have a punch-perfect performance. I believe that he will bring out the very best in me.

“Timing is everything. I believe this is my era. I have arrived at my destination at the right time and I’m loving the journey. To fight your mandatory challenger on one of the biggest cards in British boxing this year is brilliant because it showcases my skills around the world.”

Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs) took a 112-pound world title by unanimous decision from Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosalesin London in December and made his first defense, also in London, by unanimous decision against Spain’s Angel Morenoon March 23.

“I can’t wait to challenge for the WBC flyweight world title in London,” Martinez said. “I’ll be taking that famous green-and-gold belt back to Mexico with me. I have already knocked out one Brit and on August 31 I will make it two.”

The card also will include a heavyweight fight between contenderHughie Furyand former secondary titlist Alexander Povetkin, a bout that Hearn announced Wednesday.

Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic Tour Tops $129 Million in Ticket Sales

Bruno Mars is makin’ major magic… and money…

The 32-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer/songwriter has topped $129 million in ticket sales so far from the ongoing tour in support of 24K Magic, his third studio album released in November of 2016.

Bruno Mars

The most recent report of box office activity from the tour’s producer, Live Nation, includes $76 million in revenue from the pop star’s current trek through North American cities that runs through November 11.

Sales from this trek through the U.S. and Canada earn Mars a third-place slot on Billboard’s weekly recap of Hot Tours.

The 24K Magic Tour launched earlier this year in Europe with a slate of arena dates through 34 cities that stretched from March 28 until June 15. The North American leg followed a brief four-week break, beginning with a July 15 performance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Through the tour’s Oct. 10 performance at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (the last show included in this week’s report), a total of 659,190 sold tickets at 42 concerts in 32 cities produced the $76 million North American gross.

Nine venues on the trek hosted Mars for two performances, but only Chicago’s United Center booked the tour for three nights. With sellouts at each show, the Windy City arena logged a total of 47,942 fans in attendance on Aug. 16, 18 and 19 with sales hitting $6.3 million. It is the singer’s highest-grossing North American engagement this year and ranks second among all the dates reported worldwide since the tour began in the spring. Only London’s O2 Arena logged a higher gross with £5.1 million ($6.6 million) earned at four performances in April.

Now nearing the end of his first run stateside, Mars is set to wrap the 17-week jaunt with a four-show stint at The Forum in Los Angeles on Nov. 7, 8, 10 & 11.

Shows in Latin American markets are booked for the remainder of 2017 and early next year, followed by a trek through Australia and New Zealand.

Rafael Nadal Partners with Roger Federer in Laver Cup Doubles Win

Rafael Nadal has found an unlikely doubles partner…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star joined forces with longtime rival Roger Federer to win a doubles match in the new Laver Cup on Saturday.

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Laver Cup

Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time to defeat Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in the team event between Europe and the rest of the world.

“It was unbelievable,” Nadal said.

The inaugural Laver Cup is taking place at Prague’s O2 Arena on an unusual black hard court.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also form the European team.

John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe play for the world.

Europe needs two more victories from Sunday’s four games to win.

Marrero & Verdasco Take Down the Bryan Brothers to Clinch ATP World Tour Finals Doubles Title

The first time’s the charm for David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco

Following their unexpected win in the semifinals at their first-ever ATP World Tour Finals, the Spanish tenistas upset the top-seeded Bryan brothers to win the doubles title at the O2 Arena.

David Marrero & Fernando VerdascoDavid Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

The sixth seeds had never even qualified for the year-end tournament before and had lost all three of their previous matches against the world No 1 partnership. But they triumphed in a stellar match 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 10-7.

They saved four set points in the first set, Verdasco recovering from 0-40 down at 4-5, and the left-hander, still one of the most dangerous customers on the singles circuit, was the key man in a gripping contest.

David Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

In the next game, Mike Bryan double faulted at 15/30 to gift two break point opportunities to Marrero and Verdasco. He saved the first with a fine backhand crosscourt winner, but Verdasco clinched the game when his stinging forehand was too much for Bob Bryan, who could only volley long.

And the Spaniards clinched the next game to win the first set.

Verdasco’s forehand, one of the most devastating and feared shots on the men’s tour, got the Spaniards out of trouble time and time again. But the American twins – who had won the title three times before – hit back to level it up by winning the second set on the tiebreak.

There was just one mini-break in the deciding Champions tiebreak and it was set up by another sensational Verdasco forehand down-the-line winner.

On match point Bob Bryan could only chip a Verdasco serve long and the sixth seeds could celebrate becoming the third all-Spanish pair to win the title after Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975 and last year’s champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

The Bryans finished No 1 for a fifth straight year and a record ninth time overall. They have won 11 titles this season, including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Granollers & Lopez Claim First ATP World Tour Finals Doubles Title

Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez have claimed their first ATP World Tour Finals doubles title…

The 26-year-old and 30-year-old Spaniards beat India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna 7-5 3-6 10-3 in a dramatic final at the O2 Arena to win the title.

Marcel Granollers & Marc Lopez

“We finished here winning the title, so it’s incredible for us. We try to play as best as we can always; I think we have very good relationship. So, I think, that’s one of the key of our success,” said Granollers after the victory. “Marc is one of my best friends. To win here with him is very special. Thanks to the ATP for a great tournament and to Barclays for supporting our sport.”

In their debut as a team at the year-end tournament, Granollers and Lopez – the first Spanish duo to play at the ATP World Tour Finals since Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1994 – became the first Spaniards to win the coveted trophy since Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975.

Marc Lopez & Marcel Granollers

“It’s always tough playing them,” said Bhupathi. “They’re not a conventional doubles team. They make it very, very difficult in more ways than one, no matter who they play. We were expecting that. We fought hard to stay in the match. [We] got ourselves again into a match tiebreak. This time I think we just played a bad tiebreak. That sums it up.”

It’s the third title of the year for the Spaniards, seeded sixth out of the eight doubles teams at the ATP World Tour Finals. They also won in Rome and Gstaad.

The pair, who ends the season with a career-high ranking of No. 6 in the world, will next compete for Spain in next week’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic in Prague.