In the run-up to this year’s Brit Awards, the discussion was all about the lack of female nominations.
In the mixed categories such as best album, best group and song of the year, just four nods out of 25 went to women.
On the night, the issue was addressed by several of the artists and awards presenters, but it wasn’t the only talking point. Here are some of the big moments from this year’s Brits ceremony.
Remembering Caroline Flack
Host Jack Whitehall opened the show by paying tribute to Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, who was found dead at home at the weekend having taken her own life.
Whitehall described the presenter, who hosted the Brits red carpet show and co-hosted the encore show for ITV in 2010, as “a member of the Brits family” during his opening monologue.
Describing Flack as a “kind and vibrant person with an infectious sense of fun”, he added: “She will be sorely missed.
“I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say our thoughts are with her friends and family.”
Harry Styles, who dated the late TV presenter for three months in 2011, arrived at the ceremony wearing a black ribbon. While he didn’t pay tribute to Flack during his time on stage, he did give an emotional performance of his song, Falling.
Former Love Island star Montana Brown also paid tribute on the red carpet ahead of the awards, telling Sky News: “Enough is enough.”
Speaking about the effects of negative media attention, she said: “Everyone makes mistakes, we’re all human, and I think that people can’t be made accountable for every single mistake they ever make in their life just because it is printed in a newspaper.”
The name’s Eilish…
A bit of a coup for the Brits this year – the world exclusive of Billie Eilish‘s Bond theme, No Time To Die.
The teenage star gave a spine-tingling first performance of the song, alongside her brother and co-writer Finneas O’Connell, as well as Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr.
Getting that exclusive meant the 18-year-old was a dead cert for the international female solo artist prize, which she accepted from presenter Mel C on stage.
“Thank you, Sporty,” she said.
Getting emotional, she also said that seeing the crowds made her “want to cry”, saying she had felt “very hated recently” after struggles with trolls online.
She added: “When I was on the stage and I saw you guys all smiling at me it genuinely made me want to cry and I want to cry now.
“London has always felt like a second home to me.”
Lewis Capaldi the night’s big winner
If we’ve learned anything in the past 12 months since Lewis Capaldi first became a household name, it’s that you can always rely on him to bring some comedy value.
He started by picking up the best new artist prize at the start of the ceremony, and made his way to the stage with Buckfast Tonic Wine in his hand.
However, there was no real speech for that one, leaving the crowd a bit confused. He made up for it with song of the year, for Someone You Loved, though.
Clarifying his inspiration for the song, Capaldi said it was not the ex-girlfriend who can currently be seen on Love Island, in a reference to current contestant Paige Turley, but actually his grandma.
Brits gets political
Not only did south London rapper Dave pick up album of the year, for his debut Psychodrama, he also delivered the night’s most politically charged and provocative set.
In his performance of Black, he criticised the treatment of the Duchess of Sussex, accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being a “real racist”, and spoke up for Grenfell fire victims.
In new verses at the end of the song, the 21-year-old rapped: “It is racist whether or not it feels racist/The truth is our prime minister’s a real racist.”
Commenting on the treatment of Meghan, he said: “Now if you don’t want to get it then you are never gonna get it/How the news treats Kate versus how they treated Meghan.”
Dave also paid tribute to London Bridge attack victim Jack Merritt, who he called “my brother in arms”.
“There’s tears in our eyes and love in our hearts,” he said. “We never had the same background, culture, colour or class but you devoted your life to giving others a chance/And for that I’m so taken aback because you gave us all a voice.”
After calling for “way less hatred, more conservation, less deforestation”, Dave said “Grenfell victims still need accommodation and we still need support for the Windrush generation”.
Psychodrama, which features the song Black, topped the UK album chart when it was released last year, and also won the 2019 Mercury Prize.
Dave was not the only star to mention one of our politicians.
After winning the international male solo artist award, Tyler, The Creator made fun of former PM Theresa May, who he said had previously stopped him entering the country.
“Thank you, Theresa May,” he said. “I know she’s at home p***** off.”
The Brits have been criticised over the years for failing to reflect the diversity of British music and being slow to embrace the emergence of genres such as British grime and hip-hop.
However, performances and wins for Stormzy, Dave and Mabel this year showed that, when it comes to the #BritsSoWhite controversy of 2016 at least, the ceremony is changing.
However, after a good year for female nominees last year, only four nominations out of a possible 25 in mixed categories were women. No female performers were included on the shortlists for best group or album of the year.
Stormzy was among those to reference the issue, paying tribute to the women in his team after collecting the male solo artist award.
“To be the best male, I have got the most incredible females in my team,” he said.
“You lot are the greatest, the best male is nothing without the best females. I love you guys.”
Collecting the award for best group, Foals also said they wanted to see female nominees in the category next year.
And dishing out the best international male gong, presenter Paloma Faith joked she was awarding a prize to an “under-represented category – the men”.
Jack’s jokes and all the performances
Hosting for the third year in a row, comedian Jack Whitehall did a good job of keeping the crowd and viewers at home entertained.
He joked about everyone from Billie Eilish – “the only teenager in the world who makes Greta Thunberg look lazy” – to the “horny scarecrow of rock ‘n’ roll, Ronnie Wood”.
What made the ceremony a little different this year was the performances, with the number of awards cut to make way for showing off the best of the world’s musical talent.
We got to see the likes of Lizzo, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi and show-closers Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood on stage, not to mention Stormzy, Dave and Mabel, who opened the show.
It made for a slick, entertaining ceremony. While the days of Jarvis waggling his bum on stage and stars challenging each other to fights are probably over, the 2020 Brits were certainly one of the most memorable in years.
Source : Sky News