He will go up against Craig David, Michael Kiwanuka and Skepta for the British male solo artist prize, while his record Blackstar, released two days before he died of cancer on 10 January 2016, has been shortlisted for the MasterCard British Album of the Year.
It will compete against Skepta’s Mercury Prize-winning album Konnichiwa, The 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, Kano’s Made In The Manor and Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate. Bowie won the best British male solo artist award in 2014 and in his acceptance speech, read in his absence by supermodel Kate Moss, he urged Scotland to stay in the UK.
Leonard Cohen has also been nominated for a posthumous award, competing for international male solo artist against Bon Iver, Bruno Mars, Drake and The Weeknd.
Skepta and X Factor alumni Little Mix lead the nominations for the awards, with three apiece.
The grime artist’s third nod is for British breakthrough act, where he is in the same category as Anne-Marie, Blossoms, Critics’ Choice winner Rag’n’Bone Man and Stormzy.
Little Mix are in the running for British group, alongside Radiohead, The 1975, Bastille and Biffy Clyro, as well as British single, for their number one hit Shout Out To My Ex.
The other songs in the category are Pillowtalk by Little Mix star Perrie Edwards’ ex Zayn, and James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go.
Also in the category are Alan Walker’s Faded, Calum Scott’s track Dancing On My Own, Calvin Harris ft Rihanna on This Is What You Came For, Clean Bandit ft Sean Paul & Anne-Marie for Rockabye, Coldplay with Hymn For The Weekend, Jonas Blue ft Dakota for Fast Car and Tinie Tempah ft Zara Larsson with Girls Like.
Little Mix will also vie for the British artist video of the year gong, for Hair featuring Sean Paul.
In the same category Zayn will be battling it out with his former group One Direction – the former for Pillowtalk and the latter for History.
Other best video nominees are Adele for Send My Love (To Your New Lover), Calvin Harris ft Rihanna on This Is What You Came For, Clean Bandit ft Sean Paul & Anne-Marie for Rockabye, James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go, Jonas Blue ft Dakota with Fast Car and Tinie Tempah ft Zara Larsson for Girls Like.
The international group nominees are Kings Of Leon, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, A Tribe Called Quest, Drake & Future and Twenty One Pilots.