Brit Awards

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The BRIT Awards
Ambox current red.svg 2019 Brit Awards
2008 Brit Awards Earls Court Centre.jpg
The entrance to Earls Court in London on the evening of the 2008 Brit Awards ceremony
Awarded forExcellence in music
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented by British Phonographic Industry (BPI)
First awarded18 October 1977;41 years ago (1977-10-18) (as The BRITish Record Industry BRITannia Awards)
Website Official website
Television/radio coverage
Network

The BRIT Awards (often simply called The BRITs) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual popular music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain", or "Britannia" (in the early days the awards were sponsored by Britannia Music Club), but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trusts Show (though the first word of which term may still be shortened to Brit like the earlier awards). [1] In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic BRIT Awards, is held in the month of May. Robbie Williams holds the record for the most BRIT Awards, 13 as a solo artist and another five as part of Take That. [2]

British Phonographic Industry Trade association of the recorded music industry in the United Kingdom

The BPI Limited, commonly known as the British Phonographic Industry or BPI, is the British recorded music industry's trade association.

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.

Britannia Music Club (1969-2007) was a British mail-order company owned by PolyGram which sponsored the Brit Awards. The company was acquired by Universal Music Group as part of PolyGram in 1998, and closed in 2007. The direct marketing format was to offer an unbeatable discounted offer from PolyGram's catalogue, such as an offer of four albums for £1 each - or Solti's recording of Wagner's Ring for the Britannia Classical Club - which then required the member to buy six CDs in the first year and three in the second year at full price. Together with bonus offers. The company also engaged in on-line sales from 1998-2007. The Club is mentioned in the song "Uffington Wassail" on the 2000 album Trouble over Bridgwater by Half Man Half Biscuit.

Contents

The awards were first held in 1977 and originated as an annual event in 1982 under the auspices of the British record industry's trade association, the BPI. In 1989, they were renamed The BRIT Awards. [3] Mastercard has been the long-term sponsor of the event. [4] The highest profile music awards ceremony in the UK, the BRIT Awards have featured some of the most notable events in British popular culture, such as the final public appearance of Freddie Mercury, the Jarvis Cocker protest against Michael Jackson, the height of a well-documented feud between Oasis and fellow Britpop band Blur, the Union Jack dress worn by Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls, and a Chumbawamba member throwing a bucket of iced water over then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. [5] [6] [7] These moments took place in the 1990s when the ceremony had a reputation for being “a little shambolic, unpredictable and, at times, anarchic” with a criticism it has lost its edge since then and “evolved into a more polished, sanitised affair.” [8]

Mastercard American multinational financial services corporation

Mastercard Incorporated is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the Mastercard International Global Headquarters in Purchase, New York, United States. The Global Operations Headquarters is located in O'Fallon, Missouri, United States, a municipality of St. Charles County, Missouri. Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the "Mastercard" brand debit, credit and prepaid to make purchases. Mastercard Worldwide has been a publicly traded company since 2006. Prior to its initial public offering, Mastercard Worldwide was a cooperative owned by the more than 25,000 financial institutions that issue its branded cards.

Freddie Mercury British singer, songwriter and record producer

Freddie Mercury was a British singer, songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in the history of rock music, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Jarvis Cocker English musician, singer-songwriter, radio presenter and editor

Jarvis Branson Cocker is an English musician, actor and presenter. As the founder, frontman, and sole consistent member of the band Pulp, he became a figurehead of the Britpop genre of the mid-1990s. Following Pulp's hiatus, Cocker has pursued a solo career, and for seven years he presented a BBC Radio 6 Music show called Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service.

The BRIT Awards were broadcast live until 1989, when Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood hosted a widely criticised show in which little went as rehearsed. [9] From 1990 to 2006, the event was recorded and broadcast the following night. From 2007, The BRIT Awards reverted to a live broadcast on British television, on 14 February on ITV. [9] That year, comedian Russell Brand was the host and three awards were dropped from the ceremony: Best British Rock Act, Best British Urban Act and Best Pop Act. [9] For the last time, on 16 February 2010, the venue for The BRITs was the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. The BRIT Awards were held at the O2 Arena in London for the first time in 2011. [10]

Samantha Fox English dance-pop singer, actress, and glamour model

Samantha Karen Fox is an English singer, songwriter, actress, and former glamour model. In 1983, at age 16, she began appearing as a topless model on Page 3 of British tabloid newspaper The Sun, and continued as a Page 3 girl until 1986. During this time, she became the most popular pin-up girl of her era, as well as one of the most photographed British women of the 1980s.

Mick Fleetwood British musician

Michael John Kells Fleetwood is a British musician and actor, best known as the drummer, co-founder, and de facto leader of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged with that of the group's bassist John "Mac" McVie to form the name of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London. It was launched in 1955 as Independent Television, under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority (ITA), to provide competition to BBC Television which had been established in 1932. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

The BRIT Award statuette given to the winners features Britannia, the female personification of Britain. Since 2011, the statuette has been regularly redesigned by some of the best known British designers, stylists and artists, including Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Peter Blake, Zaha Hadid, Anish Kapoor and David Adjaye. [11] [12] [13] [14] In 1992, KLF opened the show and invited extreme metal band Extreme Noise Terror on stage, complete with flame-throwers, and fired machine gun blanks over the crowd. The group sent a dead sheep to the aftershow party with “I died for ewe – bon apetit” messaged on it, and later buried their BRIT Award statuette at Stonehenge signifying their abhorrence of the music industry. [8]

Vivienne Westwood English fashion designer and businesswoman

Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.

Damien Hirst English artist

Damien Steven Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended.

Tracey Emin English artist

Tracey Emin, CBE, RA is an English artist known for her autobiographical and confessional artwork. Emin produces work in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, neon text and sewn appliqué. Once the "enfant terrible" of the Young British Artists in the 1980s, Tracey Emin is now a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Ceremonies

Most recent Brit Award winners
  2018 20 February 2019 2020 
  George Ezra at Glastonbury Abbey 2014.jpg Jorja Smith 11 26 2018 -5 (45772599074).jpg PHHt9o11.jpg
Award British
Male Solo Artist
British
Female Solo Artist
British
Group
Winner George Ezra Jorja Smith The 1975

The first awards ceremony was in 1977, as "The BRITish Record Industry BRITannia Awards", to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and was televised by Thames Television. There have been 37 editions to date. [15]

Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II

The Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II marked the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. It was celebrated with large-scale parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth throughout 1977, culminating in June with the official "Jubilee Days", held to coincide with the Queen's Official Birthday. The anniversary date itself was commemorated in church services across the land on 6 February 1977, and continued throughout the month. In March, preparations started for large parties in every major city of the United Kingdom, as well as for smaller ones for countless individual streets throughout the country.

Thames Television

Thames Television was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding area on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992. It continued as an independent production company until 2003.

The 1988 BPI Awards was the first of the ceremonies to be broadcast on live television. The BBC had previously broadcast the ceremony from 1985, with the shows from 1982 to 1984 not broadcast on television. The BBC continued to broadcast the renamed BRIT Awards, live in 1989 and pre-recorded from 1990 to 1992. ITV have broadcast the awards since 1993, pre-recorded until 2006 and live from 2007 onwards. [9] BBC Radio 1 has provided backstage radio coverage since 2008.

Live television is a television production broadcast in real-time, as events happen, in the present. In a secondary meaning, it may refer to streaming television over the internet. In most cases live programming is not being recorded as it is shown on TV, but rather was not rehearsed or edited and is being shown only as it was recorded prior to being aired. Shows broadcast live include newscasts, morning shows, awards shows, sports programs, reality programs and, occasionally, episodes of scripted television series.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

BBC Radio 1 British national radio station

BBC Radio 1 is one of the BBC's two flagship radio stations, specialising in modern popular music and current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7 pm, including electronica, dance, hip hop, rock and indie. The choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts, however those who present in the daytime have to rotate a number of songs a specific number of times per week. It was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by pirate radio stations, when the average age of the UK population was 27. The BBC claim that they target the 15–29 age group, and the average age of its UK audience since 2009 is 30. BBC Radio 1 started 24-hour broadcasting on 1 May 1991.

Since 2014, ITV have aired a launch show in January called The BRITs Are Coming, which reveals some of the artists who have been nominated at the upcoming ceremony. The first host was Nick Grimshaw, followed by Reggie Yates (2015) and Laura Whitmore in 2016. Emma Willis has hosted the show in 2017 and again in 2018, which was broadcast live for the first time. Clara Amfo hosted the 2019 launch show on 12 January. [16]

Table summary

BPIs

No.YearDate British Album of the Year winner British Single of the Year winner(s) Outstanding Contribution to Music / BRITs Icon winner(s)HostVenueChannel
1 1977 [lower-alpha 1] 18 October Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles "Bohemian Rhapsody" – Queen
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" – Procol Harum
L.G. Wood
The Beatles
Michael Aspel Wembley Conference Centre ITV [lower-alpha 2] [17]
2 1982 4 February Kings of the Wild Frontier Adam & the Ants "Tainted Love" – Soft Cell John Lennon David Jacobs Grosvenor House Hotel N/A [lower-alpha 3]
3 1983 8 February Memories Barbra Streisand "Come on Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners Pete Townshend
The Beatles
Tim Rice
4 1984 21 February Thriller Michael Jackson "Karma Chameleon" – Culture Club George Martin
5 1985 11 February Diamond Life Sade "Relax" – Frankie Goes to Hollywood The Police Noel Edmonds BBC
6 1986 10 February No Jacket Required Phil Collins "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" – Tears for Fears Elton John
Wham!
7 1987 9 February Brothers in Arms Dire Straits "West End Girls" – Pet Shop Boys Eric Clapton Jonathan King
8 1988 8 February ...Nothing Like the Sun Sting "Never Gonna Give You Up" – Rick Astley The Who Noel Edmonds Royal Albert Hall

BRITs

No.YearDate British Album of the Year winner British Single of the Year winner Outstanding Contribution to Music / BRITs Icon winner(s)Host(s)VenueChannel
9 1989 13 February The First of a Million Kisses Fairground Attraction "Perfect" – Fairground Attraction Cliff Richard Samantha Fox
Mick Fleetwood
Royal Albert HallBBC
10 1990 18 February The Raw and the Cooked Fine Young Cannibals "Another Day in Paradise" – Phil Collins Queen Cathy McGowan Dominion Theatre
11 1991 10 February Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 George Michael "Enjoy the Silence" – Depeche Mode Status Quo Simon Bates
12 1992 12 February Seal Seal "These Are the Days of Our Lives" – Queen Freddie Mercury Hammersmith Odeon
13 1993 16 February Diva Annie Lennox "Could It Be Magic" – Take That Rod Stewart Richard O'Brien Alexandra Palace ITV
14 1994 14 February Connected Stereo MC's "Pray" – Take That Van Morrison Elton John
RuPaul
15 1995 20 February Parklife Blur "Parklife" – Blur ft. Phil Daniels Elton John Chris Evans
16 1996 19 February (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Oasis "Back for Good" – Take That David Bowie Earls Court
17 1997 24 February Everything Must Go Manic Street Preachers "Wannabe" – Spice Girls Bee Gees Ben Elton
18 1998 9 February Urban Hymns The Verve "Never Ever" – All Saints Fleetwood Mac London Arena
19 1999 16 February This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours Manic Street Preachers "Angels" – Robbie Williams Eurythmics Johnny Vaughan
20 2000 3 March The Man Who Travis "She's the One" – Robbie Williams Spice Girls Davina McCall Earls Court Two
21 2001 26 February Parachutes Coldplay "Rock DJ" – Robbie Williams U2 Ant & Dec
22 2002 20 February No Angel Dido "Don't Stop Movin'" – S Club 7 Sting Frank Skinner
Zoë Ball
23 2003 20 February A Rush of Blood to the Head Coldplay "Just a Little" – Liberty X Tom Jones Davina McCall
24 2004 17 February Permission to Land The Darkness "White Flag" – Dido Duran Duran Cat Deeley
25 2005 9 February Hopes and Fears Keane "Your Game" – Will Young Bob Geldof Chris Evans
26 2006 14 February X&Y Coldplay "Speed of Sound" – Coldplay Paul Weller Earls Court
27 2007 15 February Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not Arctic Monkeys "Patience" – Take That Oasis Russell Brand
28 2008 9 February Favourite Worst Nightmare Arctic Monkeys "Shine" – Take That Paul McCartney The Osbournes
29 2009 18 February Rockferry Duffy "The Promise" – Girls Aloud Pet Shop Boys James Corden
Mathew Horne
Kylie Minogue
30 2010 16 February Lungs Florence and the Machine "Beat Again" – JLS Robbie Williams Peter Kay
31 2011 15 February Sigh No More Mumford & Sons "Pass Out" – Tinie Tempah ft. Labrinth N/AJames Corden The O2 Arena
32 2012 21 February 21 Adele "What Makes You Beautiful" – One Direction Blur
33 2013 20 February Our Version of Events Emeli Sandé "Skyfall" – Adele N/A
34 2014 19 February AM Arctic Monkeys "Waiting All Night" – Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre Elton John [lower-alpha 4]
35 2015 25 February X Ed Sheeran "Uptown Funk" – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars N/AAnt & Dec
36 2016 24 February 25 Adele "Hello" – Adele David Bowie
37 2017 22 February Blackstar David Bowie "Shout Out to My Ex" – Little Mix Robbie Williams [lower-alpha 5] Dermot O'Leary
Emma Willis
38 2018 21 February Gang Signs & Prayer Stormzy "Human" – Rag'n'Bone Man N/A Jack Whitehall
39 2019 20 February A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships The 1975 "One Kiss" – Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa P!nk
Notes
  1. These awards were to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and were for the previous 25 years of her reign.
  2. As Thames Television.
  3. Untelevised.
  4. Given at a separate show at the London Palladium theatre the previous October.
  5. Given at a separate show at the Troxy theatre previous November.

Notable moments

Electricians' strike (1987)

In 1987 the BPI Awards ceremony was held in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel. At the time there was a BBC electricians' strike in effect, and the organisers decided to use a non-TV events production company, called Upfront, to manage the show. Despite the show being picketed, the event was transmitted as intended. For a while, the outdoor broadcast scanner was rocked on its wheels by the protesters and they managed to shut off the power to one of the big GE video screen projectors. Upfront was then asked to organise the following year and persuaded the BPI to move the event to a larger venue, starting the trend that continues to this day, albeit at The O2, and with a different production company (MJK Productions).

Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood (1989)

In 1989, the ceremony was broadcast live and presented by Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and singer Samantha Fox. The inexperience of the hosts, an ineffective autocue, and little preparation combined to create an unprofessional show that was poorly received. The hosts continually got their lines mixed up, a pre-recorded message from Michael Jackson was never transmitted and several guest stars arrived late on stage or even at the wrong time, such as Boy George in place of The Four Tops.

Freddie Mercury's final public appearance (1990)

The 1990 awards ceremony saw the last public appearance of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. [18] Queen appeared at the ceremony to receive the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. [18] [19] Mercury (who had been suffering from AIDS since 1987 but had not disclosed it to the public) did not make a speech, as Brian May did the talking on behalf of the other members, but his gaunt appearance was noticeable. [20]

The KLF (1992)

In 1992, dance/art band The KLF was awarded Best British Group (shared with Simply Red) and were booked to open the show. In an attempt to hijack the event, the duo collaborated with grindcore metal band Extreme Noise Terror to perform a death metal version of the dance song "3 a.m. Eternal" that prompted conductor Sir Georg Solti to walk out in disgust. [21] The performance ended with Bill Drummond firing blanks from a vintage machine gun over the audience and KLF publicist/announcer Scott Piering stating "Ladies and gentlemen, The KLF have now left the music business", the performance indeed marked the end of the duo's musical career, because they released only several one-off performances and one live performance afterwards. Producers of the show then refused to let a motorcycle courier collect the award on behalf of the band. Later, guests arriving for an after-show party witnessed the band dump a dead sheep outside the venue with the message "I died for you – bon appetit" tied around its waist, whilst their Brit Award was reportedly found buried in a field near Stonehenge in 1993. [8]

Michael Jackson and Jarvis Cocker (1996)

In 1996, Michael Jackson was given a special Artist of a Generation award. At the ceremony he accompanied his single "Earth Song" with a stage show, culminating with Jackson as a 'Christ-like figure' surrounded by children. Jarvis Cocker, of the band Pulp, mounted the stage in what he would later claim as a protest at this portion of the performance. Cocker ran across the stage, lifting his shirt and pointing his (clothed) backside in Jackson's direction. Cocker was subsequently questioned by the police on suspicion of causing injury towards three of the children in Jackson's performance, who were now on stage.

Regarding his actions, Cocker said, "My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing. I just ran on the stage. I didn't make any contact with anyone as far as I recall." [22]

Oasis and Blur rivalry (1996)

1996 saw the height of a well-documented feud between Oasis and fellow Britpop band Blur. The differing styles of the bands, coupled with their prominence within the Britpop movement, led the British media to seize upon the rivalry between the bands. [23] Both factions played along, with the Gallaghers taunting Blur at the 1996 BRIT Awards by singing a rendition of "Parklife" when they collected their "Best British Band" award (with Liam changing the lyrics to "Shite-life" and Noel changing them to "Marmite"). [8]

Chumbawamba and John Prescott (1998)

In 1998, Danbert Nobacon of the politically active band Chumbawamba threw a bucket of iced water over then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Despite apologies on behalf of the band from EMI Europe, Chumbawamba were unrepentant saying

Belle and Sebastian (1999)

In 1999, the Indie band Belle & Sebastian were nominated for Best British Newcomers, despite having released three albums before the 1999 Awards. The award was sponsored by Radio One and voted for online by their listeners. At the time, Steps were arguably Britain's biggest boy/girl pop group and were also nominated. Despite this, the award was won by Belle & Sebastian. On the Saturday after the awards, a story appeared in the press alleging that the group had rigged the vote in their favour, encouraging students from two universities to vote online. However, fans argued that the band had a predominantly large student following, that band member Isobel Campbell had attended one of the universities in question, and in particular, the award ought to be given on artistic merit as opposed to popularity or CD sales.

Ronnie Wood and Brandon Block confrontation (2000)

Dance DJ Brandon Block was told by his friends that he had won an award and had been summoned to the stage to collect it. Because of his advanced state of intoxication, he believed them and walked on to the stage, eventually ending up next to a bemused Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and actress Thora Birch, who were about to present the award for Best Soundtrack Album. After Block was removed from the stage by security, Wood aimed an insult in his direction. A series of insults were then traded between the two, both of which were audible through the stage microphone, causing claims that the whole event may have been staged. Wood then threw his drink into Block's face, and the DJ was ejected from the event. Sometime after the incident, Block claimed that he had subsequently apologised to Wood for his behaviour, and Wood had merely brushed it off.

Geri Halliwell vs. the Spice Girls (2000)

The Spice Girls were set to receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music award at the 2000 BRIT Awards. There was much media speculation before and even during the event as to whether or not former Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell would accept the award with the four remaining members of the group. [24] On the night, however, Halliwell declined to join her former bandmates and instead ensured front-page coverage the following day by performing her solo number 1 single "Bag It Up" straddling a pole between a pair of giant inflatable legs.

Russell Brand (2007)

Some controversy was caused by the host of the 2007 awards ceremony, comedian Russell Brand, who made several quips relating to news stories of the time including Robbie Williams entering rehab for addiction to prescription drugs, the Queen's 'naughty bits' and a fatal friendly fire incident involving a British soldier killed by American armed forces in Iraq. ITV received over 300 complaint calls from viewers. [25] He would again instigate controversy the following year at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

Vic Reeves and Sharon Osbourne (2008)

After Vic Reeves appeared to forget which award he was presenting, Sharon Osbourne attempted to wrestle the microphone from him, insisted he was drunk and called him a "pissed bastard". She proceeded to make the full announcement herself. The next day it was reported that Reeves was not intoxicated and was hurt by Osbourne's behaviour. The incident has since been ascribed to an autocue malfunction, but Reeves said in his defence that he was trying to read the autocue screen, but he couldn't read it because Osbourne was pushing him out of the way.[ citation needed ]

Adele speech cut short (2012)

Adele won the award for 'British Album of the Year', widely regarded as the most important award. Less than half a minute into her acceptance speech, host James Corden was forced to cut Adele off in order to introduce Blur who were due to perform an eleven-minute set as they had won the 'Outstanding Contribution to Music' award and the ceremony was running over its allotted time. [26] Adele was visibly annoyed and proceeded to raise her middle finger [27] and the producers of the show came under fire on Twitter for the decision. [28] Following the incident Adele said "I got cut off during my speech for Best Album and I flung the middle finger. But that finger was to the suits at The BRIT Awards, not to my fans". [29] Adele received an apology from the show's organisers, who stated; "We send our deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short. We don't want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night's biggest award. It tops off what's been an incredible year for her." [30] Due to the tight schedule, only three of the five songs Blur played were broadcast on ITV.

David Bowie enters Scottish independence debate (2014)

At 67 years of age, the influential musician David Bowie became the oldest recipient to date of the Best British Male Solo Artist Award. [31] Bowie used his acceptance speech, delivered in his absence by Kate Moss, to urge Scotland to remain part of the UK in the September 2014 Scottish independence referendum. His speech read: "I'm completely delighted to have a Brit for being the best male – but I am, aren't I Kate? Yes. I think it's a great way to end the day. Thank you very, very much and Scotland stay with us." [32] Bowie's unusual intervention in British politics garnered a significant reaction throughout the UK on social media. [31] [33]

Damon Albarn's slurred anti-Brexit speech and Jack Whitehall's response (2018)

When picking up the Best British Group award for Gorillaz, Albarn appeared to be drunk in his speech, slurring his words and starting a rant about Brexit. Taking the microphone while his bandmates hung back, he began: "This country is, believe it or not, quite a small little thing right. "It's a lovely place and it's part of a beautiful world but don’t let it become isolated and don't let yourselves become cut off." The speech appeared to go on for a while and at one point, the camera cut back to Jack Whitehall, who was supposed to continue presenting although it quickly went back to the speech as Albarn carried on speaking. Once the speech was over, Whitehall responded by saying, "I really didn’t want this to be an Adele moment" referring back to 2012 when Adele was cut off and swore at the audience.

British Video of the Year controversy (2018)

The 2018 ceremony garnered controversy when Harry Styles was announced as the winner of the British Video of the Year. The official Brits leaderboard for these votes showed Little Mix consistently maintaining the number one spot each week, followed by Styles at number two. During the final voting event on the night of the ceremony Little Mix and Styles alternated between the top spot on numerous occasions. The last leaderboard update placed Little Mix at the top spot, with Styles at number two. After the announcement of Styles as a winner, the Brit Awards were accused by Little Mix fans of rigging the votes for this category. [34] The Brits responded to the claim, saying: "The final leaderboard was displayed on The BRITs website prior to the final count being checked and verified independently by the Electoral Reform Services, the company that independently run all BRITs voting processes. The leaderboard doesn’t work in real time and the vote was incredibly tight at the top. Fans can have complete confidence in the BRITs public vote." The Electoral Reform Services added: "Robust vote-counting rules and filters are in place which are in accordance with ITV's voting regulations, and agreed and tested prior to any vote taking place. We are confident that the vote integrity has not been compromised".[ citation needed ]

Notable performances

Spice Girls' performance of "Wannabe" and "Who Do You Think You Are" (1997)

Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell, wore a Union Jack dress. [6] [35] [36] [37] Spicemania was at its height in the UK and the Spice Girls had just cracked the US as well, reaching number 1 with their debut single and album. Halliwell was originally going to wear an all-black dress, but she thought it was too boring so her sister sewed on a Union Jack tea towel, with a 'peace' sign on the back. The now iconic red, white and blue mini-dress was worn during the Spice Girls' performance of their number one song "Who Do You Think You Are". [38] In 1998 she sold her dress in a charity auction to Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas for a record £41,320, giving Halliwell the Guinness World Record for the most expensive piece of pop star clothing ever sold. [39] This performance won the award for "BRITs Hits 30 – Best Live Performance at The BRIT Awards" at the 2010 BRIT Awards.

Geri Halliwell's performance of "Bag It Up" (2000)

Three years following the iconic Spice Girls performance, Halliwell, now a solo artist, performed her new single "Bag It Up" at the 2000 BRIT Awards. The performance featured Halliwell emerging, whilst dancing on with a pole, from a pair of large inflatable female legs. As the performance continued, her male backing dancers stripped to their pinks briefs whilst dancing with the Union Jack flag. It is widely believed that Halliwell lip-synced her performance. In addition to all this, the performance is famous for being performed on the same night that the Spice Girls received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, which Halliwell declined to accept with her former bandmates.

Gorillaz's performance of "Clint Eastwood" (2002)

When it was announced that past Brit Award recipient Damon Albarn, and his project Gorillaz, would be taking the stage at the 2002 Brit Awards, no one knew what to expect. The four cartoon members of the band performed the song on giant life size screens (an early version of a hologram) without the Blur frontman being present at all. The band performed their hit single "Clint Eastwood" alongside UK underground rap group Phi Life Cypher and a group of silhouetted female dancers mimicking the zombies from the band's music video. The performance received rapturous cheers and applause.

Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue (2003)

At the 2003 BRIT Awards, Timberlake performed a three-part medley which comprised two of his hit singles, "Cry Me a River" and "Like I Love You", and a cover of Blondie's "Rapture". In addition to Timberlake beat-boxing during the interlude between "Cry Me a River" and "Like I Love You", the performance is most famous for a photo published by the Tabloids the following day which showed Timberlake pinching Minogue's bum. Minogue's appearance was a surprise guest for Timberlake's performance and this performance is regarded one of the best at the BRITs.

Girls Aloud's performance of "The Promise" (2009)

British reality group, Girls Aloud, marked their first ever performance at the 2009 ceremony, by performing their single "The Promise". The performance saw the members, including Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Sarah Harding and Kimberley Walsh appear as though they were naked, with their modesty being covered by pink feather fans. This performance was nominated in the 2010 ceremony for the "BRITs Hits 30 – Best Live Performance at The BRIT Awards", alongside Oasis and The Who, which the Spice Girls eventually went on to win.[ citation needed ]

Cheryl's performance of "Fight for This Love" (2010)

Cheryl performed her debut single "Fight for This Love" at the 2010 BRIT Awards. The performance featured two costumes (one in a white trench coat and another in a black hooded leotard) and sampled the song "Be" by Rowetta Satchell. The performance was mainly noted for being the first time Cheryl had performed without her wedding ring. At the time of the performance, her marriage with footballer Ashley Cole was rumoured to be over following a second round of allegations of infidelity on behalf of Ashley. [40] Whilst at the time she passed this off as a fashion statement rather than a reflection of her personal life, it was later revealed in Cheryl's autobiography that she had broken off the marriage with Ashley by the performance at the BRITs. Despite allegations of lip-syncing,[ citation needed ] which was later clarified to be an ITV technical problem in the broadcast of the performance, Cheryl received strong applause from the audience. Following the performance, host Peter Kay commented "Fight for This Love, never a truer word spoken", believed to be in reference to the breakdown of their marriage.

Adele's performance of "Someone like You" (2011) [36]

Adele performed her song "Someone like You" at the 2011 Brits with only a piano accompanying her. Her emotional performance was received with a standing ovation at the O2 Arena and the video received 160 million views on YouTube. The performance launched "Someone Like You" 46 spots up the UK charts to number one, and in the process, made Adele the first artist in the UK since The Beatles to have two top five singles and two top five albums at the same time. The performance had all lights down and focused on Adele and her piano.

Kanye West's performance of "All Day" (2015) [35]

On the date of the 2015 BRIT Awards, Kanye West was announced as a surprise performer following reports of Rihanna performing at the ceremony proven to be false. [41] He performed his new single "All Day" during the live broadcast for the very first time: large sections of the performance were muted by ITV due to explicit language, causing outrage from viewers at home who felt they couldn't enjoy the performance. [42]

Madonna's performance of "Living for Love" (2015) [35] [36]

Madonna's live return to BRIT Awards after 20 years was widely promoted in the media in the days leading up to the ceremony and during the show itself. [43] During the performance of "Living for Love", she walked onstage wearing an oversized cape. When standing on stairs situated on the stage, the cape's cord failed to separate, so when Madonna's backing dancer pulled the cape behind her, she fell down the stairs and noticeably hit the stage hard. [44] She paused momentarily as her backing music continued, before she managed to separate herself from the cape and then continued performing.[ citation needed ] In an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, Madonna blamed her fall on a wardrobe malfunction as her cape had been tied too tightly so it could not be unfastened in time, before adding: "I had a little bit of whiplash, I smacked the back of my head. And I had a man standing over me with a flashlight until about 3am to make sure I was compos mentis. I know how to fall, I have fallen off my horse many times." [44]

Katy Perry and Skip Marley's performance of "Chained to the Rhythm" (2017) [35]

In the leadup to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Katy Perry was a major endorsement for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, performing at many of her rallies and speaking at public events. After Donald Trump won the election, Perry returned to recording her fifth studio album and in February 2017 released "Chained to the Rhythm". During the performance, she was joined onstage by two large skeletal puppets dressed as Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May. [45] The performance was also notable as a backing dancer fell offstage at the end of the performance whilst wearing a house costume. [46]

Kendrick Lamar's performance (2018)

The performance was notable as there was an apparent technical issue before it began, leading to Kendrick Lamar laying on a glass roof for over a minute before he started singing. However, fans of Lamar claimed that this was part of the performance and was misinterpreted as the backing music kept stopping and starting, also leading to moments of silence, which meant that viewers took to social media in order to see what was going on. [47]

Stormzy's performance (2018)

Stormzy, who had won British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year for Gang Signs & Prayer closed the 2018 ceremony. Performing under an indoor shower, he opened with "Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 2" with masked figures praying behind him before going into a freestyle rap. In his freestyle, he called out Prime Minister Theresa May over the handling of the Grenfell Tower fire. In the performance, he rapped "Theresa May, where's the money for Grenfell? What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals and you got the cheek to call us savages. You should do some jail time, you should pay some damages. We should burn your house down and see if you can manage this." [48] He also hit out at tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail asking someone to tell them they can tell them to "suck [his] dick". The performance garnered much media attention, with many lauding it the highlight of the night. [49] [50] The following day, a spokesperson for May defended the Prime Minister's response to the disaster, stating that "the PM has been clear that what happened at Grenfell was an unimaginable tragedy, which should never be allowed to happen again. She is determined the public inquiry will discover not just what went wrong but why the voices of the people of Grenfell had been ignored for so many years." [48]

Categories

Voting procedure

According to The BRIT Awards website, the list of eligible artists, albums, and singles is compiled by the Official Charts Company and submitted to the voting academy, which consists of over 1,000 members of the music industry, including the previous year's nominees and winners. The voters use a secure online website to vote, and the voting is scrutinized by Electoral Reform Services. [51]

Performances

Take That, band member Robbie Williams and Coldplay have performed the most number of ceremonies, performing seven times each. Rihanna and Adele have performed at four ceremonies each, with all four performances taking place on the same evenings (2008, 2011, 2012 and 2016).

YearPerformers (chronologically)
1985 Alison Moyet, Bronski Beat, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw and Tina Turner
1986 Huey Lewis and the News, Kate Bush, Phil Collins and Tears for Fears
1987 Chris de Burgh, Curiosity Killed the Cat, Five Star, Level 42, Simply Red, Spandau Ballet and Whitney Houston
1988 Bananarama, Bee Gees, Chris Rea, Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield, Rick Astley, Terence Trent D'Arby, T'Pau and The Who
1989 Bros, Def Leppard, Fairground Attraction, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, Randy Newman, Tanita Tikaram and Yazz
1990 Lisa Stansfield, Neneh Cherry, Nigel Kennedy, Phil Collins and Soul II Soul
1991 EMF, The Beautiful South and Status Quo
1992 The KLF, Extreme Noise Terror, Lisa Stansfield, Beverley Craven and P.M. Dawn
1993 Suede, Peter Gabriel, Cirque du Soleil, Bill Wyman and Madness
1994 Björk, PJ Harvey, Bon Jovi, Brian May, Dina Carroll, Elton John, Meatloaf, Pet Shop Boys, Stereo MCs, Take That, Van Morrison and Shane MacGowan
1995 Blur, East 17, Eddi Reader, Elton John, Eternal, Sting, M People, Madonna and Take That
1996 Alanis Morissette, David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Pulp, Simply Red and Take That
1997 Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Jamiroquai, The Fugees, Manic Street Preachers, Mark Morrison, Prince, Sheryl Crow, Skunk Anansie and Spice Girls
1998 All Saints, Chumbawamba, Finlay Quaye, Fleetwood Mac, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Shola Ama, Spice Girls, Texas, The Method Man and The Verve
1999 B*Witched, Billie Piper, Cleopatra, Steps, Tina Cousins, Supatroopers, Boyzone, Barry McGuigan*, Chris Eubank*, Nigel Benn*, The Corrs, David Bowie, Placebo, Eurythmics, Stevie Wonder, Manic Street Preachers, Robbie Williams and Whitney Houston
2000 Basement Jaxx, 5ive, Queen, Geri Halliwell, Macy Gray, Ricky Martin, Spice Girls, Stereophonics, Tom Jones, Travis and Will Smith
2001 Coldplay, Craig David, Destiny's Child, Eminem, Hear'Say, Robbie Williams, Sonique, Westlife and U2
2002 Anastacia, Jamiroquai, Dido, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Mis-Teeq, Shaggy, Ali G, So Solid Crew, Sting and The Strokes
2003 Avril Lavigne, Blue, Coldplay, David Gray, George Michael, Ms Dynamite, Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue, Liberty X, Pink, Sugababes and Tom Jones
2004 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Muse, Black Eyed Peas, Busted, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliott, Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua and Duran Duran
2005 Daniel Bedingfield, Natasha Bedingfield, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day, Gwen Stefani, Jamelia, Lemar, Keane, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Scissor Sisters, Bob Geldof, Robbie Williams and The Streets
2006 Coldplay, KT Tunstall, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Gorillaz, Jack Johnson, Paul Weller and Prince
2007 Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, Amy Winehouse, The Killers, Take That, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Corinne Bailey Rae and Oasis
2008 Mika, Beth Ditto, Rihanna, Klaxons, Kylie Minogue, Kaiser Chiefs, Leona Lewis, Mark Ronson, Adele, Daniel Merriweather, Amy Winehouse and Paul McCartney
2009 U2, Girls Aloud, Coldplay, Duffy, Take That, Kings of Leon, The Ting Tings, Estelle, Pet Shop Boys, Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers
2010 Lily Allen, JLS, Kasabian, Lady Gaga, Florence + the Machine, Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Cheryl Cole and Robbie Williams
2011 Take That, Adele, Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, Plan B, Arcade Fire, Tinie Tempah, Eric Turner, Labrinth, Justin Bieber, David Jensen, Terry Wogan, Cee Lo Green and Paloma Faith
2012 Coldplay, Florence and the Machine, Olly Murs, Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Chris Martin, Adele, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Blur
2013 Muse, Robbie Williams, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons and Emeli Sandé
2014 Arctic Monkeys, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Disclosure, Lorde, Aluna Francis, Ellie Goulding, Bastille, Rudimental, Ella Eyre, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
2015 Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Royal Blood, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, Skepta, Fekky, Krept and Konan, Stormzy, Novelist, Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London, Vic Mensa, Take That, George Ezra, Paloma Faith and Madonna
2016 Coldplay, Justin Bieber, James Bay, Jess Glynne, Rihanna, SZA, Drake, Little Mix, The Spiders from Mars, Lorde, The Weeknd and Adele
2017 Little Mix, Bruno Mars, Emeli Sandé, The 1975, Chris Martin, Katy Perry, Skip Marley, Skepta, The Chainsmokers, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Robbie Williams
2018 Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Rag'n'Bone Man, Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Liam Gallagher, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Rita Ora, Liam Payne and Stormzy
2019 Hugh Jackman, George Ezra, Little Mix, Ms Banks, Jorja Smith, Calvin Harris, Rag'n'Bone Man, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Jess Glynne, H.E.R., The 1975, Pink and Dan Smith

Most successful acts

Coldplay performing at the 2016 Brit Awards at The O2 in London, February 2016. Their nine Brit Awards include four British Group awards. Coldplay Live 2014.jpg
Coldplay performing at the 2016 Brit Awards at The O2 in London, February 2016. Their nine Brit Awards include four British Group awards.

There have been numerous acts, both groups and individuals, that have won multiple awards. The table below shows those that have won four or more awards. [52] [53] [54]

Number of awardsBritish actsNotes
18 Robbie Williams
  • British Male Solo Artist (4)
  • British Single of the Year (3)
  • British Video of the Year (3)
  • British Song of Twenty Five Year (1)
  • Icon Award (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)

5 with Take That

  • British Group (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
  • British Single of the Year (3)
9 Adele
  • British Album of the Year (2)
  • British Female Solo Artist (2)
  • British Single of the Year (2)
  • Global Success Award (2)
  • Critics' Choice Award (1)
Coldplay
  • British Group (4)
  • British Album of the Year (3)
  • British Live Act (1)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
8 Annie Lennox
  • British Female Solo Artist (6)
  • British Album of the Year (1)

1 with Eurythmics

  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Harry Styles
  • British Video of the Year (1)

7 with One Direction

  • British Video of the Year (4)
  • Global Success Award (2)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
Take That
  • British Single of the Year (5)
  • British Group (1)
  • British Live Act (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
7 Arctic Monkeys
  • British Album of the Year (3)
  • British Group (3)
  • British Breakthrough Act (1)
One Direction
  • British Video of the Year (4)
  • Global Success Award (2)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
Paul McCartney
  • British Male Solo Artist (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
  • Sony Trophy Award for Technical Excellence (1)

4 with The Beatles

  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Group (1)
6 David Bowie
  • British Male Solo Artist (3)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • Icon Award (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Ed Sheeran
  • British Male Solo Artist (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Breakthrough Act (1)
  • Global Success Award (2)
Oasis
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Album of Thirty Year (1)
  • British Breakthrough Act (1)
  • British Group (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Phil Collins
  • British Male Solo Artist (3)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
  • Soundtrack/Cast Recording (1)
5 Blur
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Group (1)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Elton John
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (2)
  • British Male Solo Artist (1)
  • Freddie Mercury Award (1)
  • Icon Award (1) [55]
Freddie Mercury

3 with Queen

  • British Single of the Year (2)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
George Michael
  • British Male Solo Artist (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)

2 with Wham!

  • British Group (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Spice Girls
  • British Single of the Year (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
  • Highest Selling Album Act (1)
  • Live Performance of Thirty Year (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
4 The Beatles
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Group (1)
Dido
  • British Female Solo Artist (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
Emeli Sandé
  • British Female Solo Artist (2)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • Critics' Choice Award (1)
Manic Street Preachers
  • British Album of the Year (2)
  • British Group (2)
Paul Weller
  • British Male Solo Artist (3)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
Number of awardsInternational actsNotes
7 Prince
  • International Male Solo Artist (2)
  • International Solo Artist (2)
  • Soundtrack/Cast Recording (2)
  • International Artist (1)
U2 [56]
  • International Group (5)
  • Most Successful Live Act (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)
6 Dave Grohl

5 with Foo Fighters

  • International Group (4)
  • International Album (1)

1 with Nirvana

  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
Michael Jackson
  • International Solo Artist (2)
  • International Male Solo Artist (1)
  • Artist of a Generation (1)
  • British Album of the Year (1)
  • British Video of the Year (1)
5 Björk
  • International Female Solo Artist (4)
  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
Foo Fighters
  • International Group (4)
  • International Album (1)
4 Eminem
  • International Male Solo Artist (3)
  • International Album (1)
Beyoncé
  • International Female Solo Artist (2)

1 with Destiny's Child

  • International Group (1)

1 with The Carters

  • International Group (1)
3 Beck
  • International Male Solo Artist (3)
Bruno Mars
  • International Male Solo Artist (2)
  • British Single of the Year (1)
Justin Timberlake
  • International Male Solo Artist (2)
  • International Album (1)
Kanye West
  • International Male Solo Artist (3)
Kylie Minogue
  • International Female Solo Artist (2)
  • International Album (1)
Lady Gaga
  • International Album (1)
  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
  • International Female Solo Artist (1)
R.E.M.
  • International Group (3)
Scissor Sisters
  • International Album (1)
  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
  • International Group (1)
2 Arcade Fire
  • International Album (1)
  • International Group (1)
Justin Bieber
  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
  • International Male Solo Artist (1)
Lana Del Rey
  • International Breakthrough Act (1)
  • International Female Solo Artist (1)
Lorde
  • International Female Solo Artist (2)
Madonna
  • International Female Solo Artist (2)
Rihanna
  • International Female Solo Artist (2)
P!nk
  • International Female Solo Artist (1)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music (1)

Viewing figures

YearAir dateOfficial ratings [57]
(in millions)
(Includes HD)
Weekly rank [57]
1999 17 February9.8612
2000 4 March9.6112
2001 27 February8.6218
2002 21 February7.8315
2003 20 February7.6415
2004 17 February6.1818
2005 10 February6.3217
2006 16 February4.7022
2007 14 February5.4319
2008 20 February6.3517
2009 18 February5.4917
2010 16 February6.5214
2011 15 February4.7918
2012 21 February6.6317
2013 20 February5.9114
2014 19 February3.8418
2015 25 February5.9913
2016 24 February6.2213
2017 22 February5.5714
2018 21 February4.9417
2019 20 February4.10-

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