This piece was written for the entertainment writing section of the print pathway of my MA International Journalism at City University London. We had to watch the ceremony on television then submit the piece with an international audience in mind by midnight that same day.
In a BRIT Awards first, British astronaut Major Tim Peake – the first British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut – presented Adele with her first award, the global success award, via satellite from outer space while aboard the International Space Station.
“I can’t work out if I’m crying because of that video or because of Tim Peake did it. My kid is going to think I’m so cool,” Adele said.
“Tim Peake, I love you. Good luck. I hope you’re okay and not too hungry,” Adele said, in between sobs, as she accepted the award.
The Tottenham-born songstress also took home best British Female Solo Artist, best British Single for ‘Hello‘ and MasterCard British album of the year. The only other band or artist to achieve this success was Blur back in 1995 with four wins.
Due to the round stage being situated in the middle of the guests tables, many other winning artists including best British male solo artist James Bay, best British group Coldplay’s Chris Martin and best International group Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker didn’t know which camera to look at as they accepted their Pam Hogg designed awards.
Honouring those who have died, Amy Winehouse was nominated for British female solo artist and David Bowie was awarded the BRITs Icon Award.
Gary Oldman and Annie Lennox were emotional as they reminisced about their friend.
“He was the living embodiment of that singular word: icon,” Oldman said
“It’s hard to talk about him in the past tense,” Lennox said.
Other performances included a risqué duet of Rihanna’s latest hit Work from her upcoming release ANTI featuring Drake, an acoustic rendition of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself with crooner James Bay, followed by Bieber performing a fiery solo rendition of the catchy-as Sorry. Little Mix, Coldplay, and Weeknd also performed. And Adele closed off the night with When We Were Young.
The ceremony wasn’t left untouched by the diversity controversy currently sweeping the entertainment industry. During a pre-ceremony interview on the Channel 4 News British artist Big Narstie spoke about the lack of nominations for non-white artists. Laura Mvula and Stormzy – who claimed his song was shunned, but in fact was outside of the nomination date – also jumped on the bandwagon.
In response BRITs management said they understand the constantly changing music landscape and will ensure next year’s awards will reflect a more diverse range of artists. The issue trended on Twitter with #BritsSoWhite.
This issue has also plagued the upcoming Oscars with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith saying they will boycott the ceremony later this week. Beyonce, who was nominated as a collaborator on Naughty Boy track Runnin’ (Lose it All) in the BRITs video category, stirred up the industry with her references to the Black Lives Matter movement, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers during her half time Super Bowl performance of Formation.