The first live large-scale indoor event since March last year, it’s little wonder that the 2021 Brit Awards proved such a Very Big Deal on social media tonight.
Hosted by Jack Whitehall – and with dazzling live performances from Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Rag’n’Bone Man, Arlo Parks, Elton John and Olly Alexander – the event felt incredibly celebratory and uplifting. Particularly because some 2,500 thoroughly deserving key workers had won tickets to attend the ceremony at the O2.
But, for those who didn’t watch along live on ITV, what were the awards show’s biggest moments?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…
Jackie Weaver and Line Of Duty opened the show
That’s right, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; Whitehall kicked off the 2021 Brit Awards with a Line Of Duty-inspired skit starring Vicky McClure and Martin Compston.
As the trio batted barbed witticisms, though, it became clear that someone – and someone with authority – needed to step in and keep things in hand.
Enter the star of the viral Handforth Parish Council meeting herself, Jackie Weaver.
“That speech was the definition of female empowerment.” tweeted one adoring fan.
“They used their platform to call out the sexism in the industry while lifting up fellow girl groups. THIS IS LITTLE MIX.”
David Furnish delivered a truly thought-provoking speech
David Furnish stepped up to the podium to introduce Elton John and Olly Alexander’s performance of It’s A Sin (more on that in a moment), and he used the opportunity to talk about HIV and the Aids crisis.
“When a brand new virus in 2020, the whole world reacted. Immediately,” he said. “Governments took action, cities closed down, scientists created vaccines, and we all talked about it night and day. Quite rightly, given the pain and suffering that has been inflicted to so many people the whole world over.
“But when the same thing happened in 1981, there was silence. That was the year HIV arrived, but people with HIV and Aids were treated with ignorance, fear, shame, and stigma. That silence allowed Aids to grow into the greatest disease affecting our planet…
“But we fought back.”
Furnish concluded: “By fighting together, we changed the word. Today, HIV is no longer a death sentence; now it’s a condition you can manage with just one pill a day. Medicine makes the virus undetectable, which means it’s non-transmittable.
“And so the fight goes on until we can banish stigma, ignorance, fear, and the virus itself forever.”
Elton John and Olly Alexander’s performance of It’s A Sin
That’s right; Years And Years frontman (and star of Channel 4’s It’s A Sin) Olly Alexander teamed up with music legend Elton John for a spine-tingling performance of the drama’s theme song.
And it was… well, see for yourself:
Admit it: you love to see it, don’t you?
Dua Lipa demanded fair pay for frontline workers
“There’s a massive disparity between gratitude and respect for frontline workers, because it’s very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them,” said Dua Lipa in her acceptance speech for Best Female Artist.
“So let’s give them all a massive round of applause and give Boris Johnson a message: we all support a fair pay rise for our frontline!”
Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance
Michelle Obama, aka our most beloved FLOTUS, appeared via video link to present the award for Best International Male to The Weeknd.
Praising the artist for his charity work, Obama thanked Abel Tesfaye for providing “a light that is pretty blinding and giving us all a reason to dance.”
And, in his acceptance speech, The Weeknd thanked his fans and added: “My people in Ethiopia who are suffering – you are deep in my heart. For everyone watching, please help where you can.”
Taylor Swift reduced us all to tears
Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams presented Taylor Swift with the Global Icon award at this year’s Brit Awards, and Swift responded by giving us a truly brilliant acceptance speech.
After thanking the NHS, her partner Joe Alwyn, her management, her friends and family, and her musical collaborators, the musician turned her attention to her UK fanbase.
“I am so indebted to my British fans. I love you so much for everything you’ve done for me. We have had so many amazing memories,” she said.
Then, offering up the sort of inspiring advice we all of us need to hear, Swift continued: “There is no career path that comes free of negativity. If you’re met with resistance, that probably means that you’re doing something new.
“If you’re experiencing turbulence or pressure, that probably means you’re rising.”
Dua Lipa paid tribute to Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole
Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia was named best album, giving the singer her second gong of the night. And she made sure to use her second speech of the night as effectively as the first; by paying tribute to Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, who tragically died at the age of 20 after jumping into the River Thames to rescue a woman.
Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk were joined by Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir to close the show
Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk closed the ceremony with a performance of their charity single Anywhere Away From Here.
But the pair weren’t alone on stage, oh no; they performed alongside the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir.
Check it out:
It is worth noting that all the money raised from the single will go to the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and NHS Charities Together, who represent the charities of all NHS Trusts in the UK.