Anyone who watched the BRITs this Tuesday knows the story already, but for those who didn’t catch the event, or want a brief overview of the key highlights, we’ve collated our thoughts into a short article to digest the main themes of the evening so you’re up to date!
Without further ado, let’s jump into why 2021 might possibly be one of the most iconic BRIT awards of all time!
Firstly, let’s tackle the obvious elephant in the room, this is one of the first larger live events with a live audience. Composed of an audience of mostly key workers and front line NHS staff with social distancing measures in place, the cheers, applause and laughter was all genuine for this event as some of the country’s biggest heroes were in attendance on such a colourful night. A heartwarming touch that was very much needed and primed the optimistic tone for the event.
So what were the main themes?
One stands out above all...This was a FANTASTIC night for women in music.
Compared to the lack of gender disparity in the 2020 nominations where in the mixed-gender categories just one British female artist got a nod in a field of 25 available slots, of the seven mixed gender categories at this year’s BRITs, six out of seven of the winners were female with only Harry Styles’ award for Watermelon Sugar as best single being the only male winner.
This is of course a monumental moment for women in the British music industry and shows a clear shift in attention which has long overshadowed the industry and award ceremonies across the globe.
Here were the full list of winners for the evening
British female: Dua Lipa
British male: J Hus
British group: Little Mix
Breakthrough artist: Arlo Parks
British single: Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
British album: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
International female: Billie Eilish
International male: The Weeknd
International group: Haim
Global icon: Taylor Swift
Rising star: Griff
Perhaps one of our favourite moments of the evening was seeing breakthrough artist winner Arlo Parks collect her award, who’s album we listed as ‘one to watch’ at the start of the year. Her album Collapsed in Sunbeams, has swept the industry by storm and called for a beautiful unity of genres with it’s humanity loaded lyricism and blissfully aware 90s trip-hop tones.
Likewise, you couldn’t miss the evening’s brilliance as Dua Lipa collects her award for best British album and uses her acceptance speech to call for NHS pay rise.
All in all, from a rewards perspective, tonight women took home 85% of the mixed-gender awards, a significant increase on any prior year of the 21st century when male artists have always won at least half of the mixed categories and we think that’s pretty incredible!
For more incredible women in music, read our interviews with: Saxophonist YolanDa Brown, Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and rising star Louise Parker here
As well as being a prestigious awards ceremony, the BRITs is perhaps also best known for it’s iconic performances. Following last year’s performance of ‘Black’ by Dave, we had high expectations and one in particular stole the show for us…
Elton John’s collaboration with Year’s and Year’s Vocalist Olly Alexander was phenomenal. The cover of the Pet Shop Boys ‘It’s A Sin’, of which Olly was the lead character in the recent Channel 4 series surrounding themes of aids and homophobia of the same name, was truly a triumph for all LGBTQ+ communities.
Elton’s playing certainly hasn’t dropped whilst he still awaits his retirement tour and it’s clear his sound is still beautifully laced with modern pop. Combined with Olly’s incredible showmanship to dominate a stage as he lays on Elton’s grand piano is a simple way to start before bursting into a flood of colour as Olly navigates through a literal labyrinth of colour and confusion. The duo bounce off of eachother effortlessly and charismatically in a pure sensation for the senses. Simply incredible. You can download the track now to benefit Aids charities.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief overview of the BRIT awards! We’d love to know your thoughts on the awards this year! Be sure to get in touch with us on social media using the #MillersMusic!