Where else would you see Lewis Capaldi in his purest form, Lizzo being even more extra and Billie Eilish finally letting her guard down? There must have been something in the water (or the tequila) at the 40th annual Brit Awards…
There are certain things you come to expect from every awards ceremony: The earnest speeches, the glitz and the glamour… but you can always depend on the Brit Awards to bring a little extra edge.
Where else would see Lizzo enjoying a flirt with Harry Styles before knocking back a wine glass full of neat tequila? Would Lewis Capaldi have taken to a Los Angeles stage with a bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine and talked about his dead grandmother? OK, maybe he would…
But there’s something about the Brit Awards that feels a bit more grounded than your usual, ever-so-slightly-sterile Hollywood affair. Here, it looks like everyone’s a bit more relaxed, having a few laughs and enjoying a night off.
Things feel a little more rowdy, a little bit naughty and – who knows – with that much free-flowing fun, some might tell us how they really feel…
Here’s a quick look at five of the biggest moments, on and off the stage.
1 – Dave drops jaws with a powerful performance
Rapper Dave – who also took home the coveted Album Of The Year award for Psychodrama – got seriously political in what will probably go down as one of the most iconic performances in Brit Awards history.
He performed his song Black, but added a whole new verse, which included the lines “How the news treats Kate versus how they’re treating Megan / It is racist, whether or not it feels racist / The truth is our Prime Minister is a real racist.”
Visuals projected during the performance also paid tribute to the victims of the 2019 London Bridge terror attack.
2 – Digs were rightly made at the lack of female representation
2020 has been a disappointing year so far for diversity during awards season, and the Brit Awards has been no exception. In this year’s nominations, only one British female artist was nominated out of the 25 available slots in the mixed-gender categories – and there were no female nominees in Best British Group or Album Of The Year.
Naturally, the attendees, award-winners, presenters and host of tonight’s event weren’t about to let this disparity go unnoticed.
Jack Whitehall started the proceedings after Mabel’s win, saying, “Environmental issues have been a big theme of awards show this year. And in the spirit of sustainability the Brits has been recycling all the same excuses for why so few women were nominated.”
While co-presenting the award of Best International Male Solo Artist, Paloma Faith quipped, “We’re here to announce a very, very underrepresented group tonight, the men.”
Meanwhile, Stormzy and Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis both weighed in while accepting their awards, with Stormzy thanking the women in his team while Philippakis said, “Hopefully next year we’ll see some more women in this category.”
3 – Lewis Capaldi accepts his award by thanking his nan… for dying
Earlier in the night, Capaldi had taken to the stage to accept the award of Best Newcomer. However, viewers were unable to hear his first-ever Brit Awards acceptance speech, as it was brief and muted out – too sweary for pre-watershed TV.
The singer-songwriter then returned to the stage later that evening to collect the Song Of The Year award for Someone You Loved. With a bottle of Buckfast wine still in hand, he said, “Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people think this song is about my ex-girlfriend who you can see every night on Love Island,” he said, referring to contestant Paige Turley.
“But it’s actually about my grandmother, who sadly passed away two years ago. And I hope to God that ITV don’t contact her to be on a reality TV dating show,” he quipped, before adding, “Thanks to my grandma for… dying? I’m sorry!”
4 – Lizzo downs a wine glass full of tequila
They may have both walked away from the Brit Awards empty-handed but, after putting on two sensational performances, Lizzo and Harry Styles (Hizzo, if you will) certainly looked to be enjoying themselves.
Jack Whitehall was interviewing the One Direction star when he noticed he was drinking neat tequila from a wine glass.
“He’s gone off the rails,” Whitehall said, before handing the drink to Lizzo at the next table, who had already dropped by to crash the interview. Lizzo proceeded to verify the contents of the glass by knocking it straight back, much to Styles’ delight.
5 – Billie Eilish allowed herself a moment of vulnerability
Whichever way you look at it, the Bad Guy singer has been under a lot of pressure, spotlight and scrutiny recently. Despite cleaning up at the Grammy Awards, she appeared visibly uncomfortable and overwhelmed, with her brother Finneas often stepping in to say a few words.
Next came the release of new James Bond track No Time To Die, which promptly divided opinion. Eilish then announced on BBC Breakfast that she’d be stepping back from social media because of the hate she’s receiving from trolls.
Let’s face it, that’s a lot for anyone, let alone an 18-year-old in her first year of mega-stardom. However, as she accepted her award for Best International Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards tonight, she seemed to finally let her guard down, because she finally felt like people were on her side.
At first, she stumbled over her words and blurted out Lizzo’s name rather than saying “London.” Her giggles and sweet interaction with Lizzo then gave way to something more emotional, where she acknowledged the positive energy in the room and said,” I’ve felt very hated recently, and when I was on the stage, and I saw you guys all smiling at me, it genuinely made me wanna cry. And I wanna cry right now.”
We love you, Billie!