With the shortlist chosen based on the most sales and airplay and the winner selected by the general public, it's also become a handy indicator of which act has the most dedicated fanbase.
But with the likes of One Direction, JLS, Jessie J and The Wanted up for this year's gong, who do you think is most likely to come out on top? Vote in our poll below.
The Brit Awards 2012 take place at London's O2 Arena on February 21. The show will be broadcast live on ITV1.