Just when we thought award season was over, the BRIT Awards came back with a bang. After a heavily male-dominated ceremony last year, the award show celebrated the women with the likes of Dua Lipa, HAIM and Little Mix all picking up awards in major categories. The big winner of the night was Future Nostalgia singer Dua Lipa after she picked up the prestigious Mastercard Album of the Year award, following in the footsteps of Dave and Stormzy.
Marking the first time the UK has had a live award show since the start of the pandemic, the BRIT Awards pulled out all the stops with performances from Headie One, AJ Tracey and Breakthrough Artist of the Year Arlo Parks. With so many standout moments from the night, we’ve rounded up all the speeches and performances you might have missed.
Check out all the best bits below…
Headie One and AJ Tracey teamed up with Virgil Abloh
At any given opportunity, we’re going to rave about our homegrown artists, because no one does it quite like us. Bringing UK rap to the global stage, Headie One and AJ Tracey put on a show last night, as they gave a political rendition of their hit single “Ain’t It Different”. Praising key workers and footballer Marcus Rashford for his stance on free school meals, the duo switched up Stormzy’s section in the tune with bars such as “The government is saying eat out to help out but won’t help out Rashford when he’s feeding the youths“ and “Teamwork keeps the dream working / It’s only right we show love to the key workers“. Gracing the stage in a Virgil Abloh-designed box with smeared newspaper clippings and colours taken from his home country of Ghana, the rapper used his performance to speak out against the negative and racist stereotypes associated with drill music, and shut all the haters down.
Dua Lipa calls out BoJo
In case you didn’t know, this is Dua Lipa’s world rn, and we’re just living it. From the Grammys to the BRIT Awards, the singer has dominated every award show so far, with numerous wins and stellar performances. Picking up the award for Best British Female last night, the singer dedicated her award to British nurse Dame Elizabeth Anionwu – who she noted has spent “a stellar nursing career fighting racial injustice” and “protecting frontline workers”. Calling out Prime Minster Boris Johnson for his failure to give nurses and NHS workers a pay rise, the singer went on to say, “I think what we should do, is we should all give a massive, massive round of applause and give Boris a message that we all support a fair pay rise is for our frontline.”
Later on in the evening, Dua took to the stage to perform a medley of hits from her chart-topping album, before picking up the prestigious Mastercard Album of the Year – which she dedicated to Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, the 20-year-old man who died after attempting to save a woman who had fallen in the river Thames in April.
Olly Alexander and Elton John came with the Pet Shop Boys homage
After teasing the performance earlier this week on social media, Olly Alexander and Elton John took the BRIT stage and put on a spectacular performance of the Pet Shop Boys’ iconic single “It’s A Sin” – which inspired the Russell T. Davis drama starring Alexander. The charitable cover which is now available to stream online will be donating all its proceeds to the Elton John AIDS Foundation,
Little Mix broke BRIT Award history
We can’t lie, we’re low-key tearing up at the fact that Little Mix have become the first female group EVER to pick up Best British Group. Dedicating their award to all the female groups that came before them, the newly formed trio got emotional on the BRIT stage as bandmate Jade Thirlwarl said, “This award isn’t just for us, it’s for the Spice Girls, Sugababes, All Saints, Girls Aloud…We’re proud that we’ve stuck together, surrounded ourselves with strong women and are now using our voices more than ever.”
Harry Styles took home Best Single
Are we even surprised? 62 weeks on the British Singles Chart is enough for us to hand Hazza the trophy and call it a night. Taking to the podium in a brown and burnt orange suit, the singer got a huge reaction from the crowd but baffled viewers with his newly adopted American accent. As he was thanking numerous friends and discussing how much of an honour it was, the TL went into overdrive as the singer spoke with a rather unusual tone…
We know the BRIT Awards are full of surprises, but one thing we didn’t expect was Michelle Obama gracing The Weeknd with Best International Male. Performing during the show via video, the After Hours star put on a mesmerising performance of his single “Save Your Tears”, before being award virtually but the former FLOTUS – what a time to be alive.