Hailed as the “undisputed Queen of the Brits”, Adele marked her big return to the UK with a successful night at the ceremony – giving a rare live performance and scooping three prizes.
The north London star won the first Brit Award of the evening – best song, for Easy On Me – and followed it up with the inaugural artist of the year gong, which replaced the male and female categories; and finally best album, for her fourth record, 30.
Described as Adele‘s “divorce record” following her break-up from Simon Konecki, the visibly emotional star paid tribute to her son and her ex-husband in her last speech of the night, saying: “This album was all of our journeys, not just mine.
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“I am very proud of myself for sticking to my guns and putting an album out that was about something so personal to me because not many people do stuff like that anymore. My son has been so gracious. So gracious and kind and patient with me over the last couple of years. It is for him.”
Moments before, picking up the best artist award, the star told the crowd that while she understood why the gendered prizes had been dropped this year, she loved being a female artist and wanted to celebrate women. “I am really proud of us,” she said.
Her success brings her total Brits haul to 12 and increases her lead as the most decorated solo female artist ever at the awards.
Elsewhere, Wolf Alice, Sam Fender, Dua Lipa, Little Simz and Becky Hill also picked up awards, with Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak) taking home international prizes.
Ed Sheeran kicked off the event with a surprise performance alongside metal rockers Bring Me The Horizon.
The chart-topping singer, who released his fifth studio album Equals in October, performed his hit Bad Habits backed by the Sheffield-formed outfit and dancers wearing punk-inspired outfits.
Liam Gallagher, Little Simz, Anne-Marie and Fender were also among the night’s performers – with Anne-Marie stumbling as she descended a flight of steps during hers. However, she recovered quickly to continue on alongside KSI and Digital Farm Animals.
One of the night’s other big moments came as rapper Little Simz’s collected the best new artist award, with the star taking her mother on stage to receive her trophy.
The 27-year-old dedicated her speech to inspiring kids from different backgrounds to “keep dreaming”.
She told the audience: “My name is Simbiatu Ajikawo. I am from north London, Islington. I grew up on a council estate. I am an independent artist and to be here tonight receiving this award is such a blessing. I am so grateful.”
After saying her thank yous, she added: “I want to say to anyone who is watching this at home – I am living proof that if you work hard at something, no matter where you come from, no matter your background, no matter your race, you can do something extraordinary.”
Little Simz, who received critical acclaim for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, also performed during the ceremony – with The Crown actress Emma Corrin making a surprise appearance during her set.
Both Adele and rapper Dave, who received the award for best hip-hop, grime and rap artist, congratulated Little Simz in their speeches.
Dave, 23, said: “I want to thank all of the artist’s who are in the same field as me who have suffered for years and years and years and years and broken down so many barriers in this industry that I am in right now.
“I want to say, it’s for you guys that I feel like it is only right that I carry on doing the same thing and for the people who are here today, Simz I am so proud of you, everything that you have done is so amazing.”
Brit Awards 2022: Who won what?
- Artist Of The Year – Adele
- Best Group – Wolf Alice
- Song Of The Year – Easy On Me, Adele
- Best New Artist – Little Simz
- Album Of The Year – 30, Adele
- Rock and Alternative Artist – Sam Fender
- Hip-Hop, Grime and Rap Artist – Dave
- Dance Artist – Becky Hill
- Pop and R&B Artist – Dua Lipa
- International Artist – Billie Eilish
- International Group – Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak)
- International Song Of The Year – Good 4 U, Olivia Rodrigo
This year’s awards saw comedian Mo Gilligan taking charge of hosting duties from Jack Whitehall.
During the ceremony, he mocked Boris Johnson over the “partygate” scandal that has dogged Downing Street in recent weeks – but elsewhere, the 2022 event wasn’t the platform for politics that it has been in previous years.
Gilligan, 33, joked: “We all love a party, the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Speaking of parties, Boris I know you’re watching, I know you love a party, come on my guy, come down. I know you like a cheese board, look at you, looking for the Dairylea.”
Gilligan was later forced to issue an apology to viewers after swearing before the watershed.
“Earlier in the show I got a little bit carried away and I swore,” he said. “Apologies for any offence. I lost myself.”
As well as the awards announced on the night, the up-and-coming Holly Humberstone received her previously announced rising star prize, while Inflo was honoured as producer of the year, and Sheeran as songwriter of the year.
Dave closed the ceremony, taking to the stage with a gospel choir – before jumping on the piano and finishing with an electric flame-throwing guitar solo.
Source : Sky News