The 2021 Brit Awards, hosted by Jack Whitehall, marked the return of live music to London’s O2 Arena, with an audience of 4,000 people and performances from Dua Lipa, Coldplay and The Weeknd.
This is everything you need to know about the awards ceremony, from the full list of winners to why the audience wasn’t socially distanced.
The full list of winners
This is the full list of winners from the Brit Awards 2021:
- Male Solo Artist - J Hus
- Female Solo Artist - Dua Lipa
- British Group - Little Mix
- British Single - Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles
- Breakthrough Artist - Arlo Parks
- International Female Solo Artist - Billie Eilish
- International Male Solo Artist - The Weeknd
- International Group - Haim
- Global Icon - Taylor Swift
- Mastercard Album - Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
- Rising Star - Griff
What did Dua Lipa say?
Having picked up awards for both the Female Solo Artist and Mastercard Album categories, Dua Lipa used her acceptance speech to call for a pay rise for NHS workers.
As she accepted the award for Female Solo Artist, Lipa said that she would be sharing the accolade with Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, the emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London.
Lipa explained that Dame Elizabeth has said that there is a “massive disparity between gratitude and respect for frontline workers”.
She said: “It’s very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them.
“I think what we should do is we should all give a massive, massive round of applause and give Boris [Johnson] a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line.”
In the audience was 2,500 front line workers from the Greater London area, and her speech was met with massive applause.
Lipa also addressed the progress made in regards to female representation at the awards.
She said: “Last time I was up here accepting this award in 2018, I said that I wanted to see more women on these stages.
“And I feel so proud that three years later, we are seeing that happen and it really is such an honour to be part of this wave of women in music.”
What did Lewis Capaldi say?
The night saw a number of different hosts take to the stage to present the awards, one of which was Scottish singer and songwriter Lewis Capaldi.
The musician, known for his sense of humour, presented the award for Mastercard Album to Dua Lipa, but quickly descended into a swear-filled speech that the Brit Awards had to censor.
In the humorous stunt, Capaldi was repeatedly muted by the show organisers, with a mute sign appearing to viewers.
Many took to social media platform Twitter to laugh about the speech.
One user Tweeted: “Lewis Capaldi’s ‘HELLO MOTHERFU*audio muted* I’M SO FUC-*audio muted*’ is how the brits is supposed to be.”
Another wrote: “Lewis Capaldi saying “hello motherfu****s” live at the brits will forever be burned into my brain I love him so much.”
“Lewis Capaldi coming onto stage to announce the award and swear so much that the entire of his speech is muted is sending me,” wrote another.
“He’s an icon. He’s a legend. Lewis Capaldi everyone,” Tweeted another user.
What did Jack Whitehall say about Kanye West?
Taylor Swift made history at the Brit Awards after she was presented with the Global Icon award, the first female artist to win.
However, viewers were left unhappy with a joke made by presenter Jack Whitehall prior to presenting the award.
Whitehall said: “Taylor Swift will be receiving her Global Icon Brit Award.
“Imagine how amazing it would be if she gave her little statue to Kanye.”
Swift and West have repeatedly had issues in the past, starting with the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 when West interrupted Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video to say that Beyonce should have won.
In 2016, West referenced Swift in his song Famous, which said: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex // Why? I made that b***h famous.”
This marked the beginning of a feud between the two. West said that Swift had given him permission to use the line in his song, while Swift’s representatives denied the claim.
A leaked video of West speaking to Swift on the phone appeared to show West getting permission to reference her in the song, however the line he told Swift was different to the one in the final song, with no reference to the word “b***h” or the claim that he “made her famous”.
Viewers took to Twitter to express their feelings about the comment from Whitehall.
One user Tweeted: “I’m so sick of Kanye jokes… it’s not 2009. Grow up!”
Another wrote: “Jack Whitehall’s joke about Kanye and Taylor shows that no matter how successful a woman is, men are always credited for their success.”
“Why would Jack even mention Kanye when talking about Taylor winning her award????” Tweeted another.
Who performed at the awards?
The ceremony featured performances from a range of musical talents, including Coldplay, Rag’n’ Bone Man and P!nk with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, sea shanty viral sensation Nathan Evans, Rising Star award winner Griff, Headie One and AJ Tracey.
Tuning in remotely from across the Atlantic, The Weeknd performed his hit song Save Your Tears, and US singer Olivia Rodrigo appeared live for her debut performance on British soil singing Drivers License.
Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander and Sir Elton John performed a version of the Pet Shop Boys song It’s A Sin. The performance of the 1980s hit song was inspired by the Channel 4 TV series of the same name and stars Alexander.
The programme explored the HIV/Aids crisis in 1980s London, and the single of the track performed by Alexander and Sir Elton is being used to raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Why wasn’t the audience socially distanced?
The live audience was not socially distanced, nor did audience members have to wear masks whilst they were seated.
This is because the Brit Awards was part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, which is a programme that looks at how venues can restart large events and welcome back crowds safely.
Audience members were not socially distanced nor were they required to wear a face covering once seated in the arena.
However, all attendees must have provided proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and as part of the wider scientific research, they will also have been asked to take a test after the event, in order to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.
Attendees also had to provide contact details for NHS Test and Trace to ensure that everyone can be traced in the event of an audience member receiving a positive test after the event.
Prior to the awards ceremony, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We continue to take steps to getting back to doing the things we love, whether that’s meeting friends and loved ones, or attending live sport and music.
“These planned pilots mean we can gather the necessary evidence to inform our plans for future events, ensuring mass events can take place safely.
“I am enormously grateful for the hard work of scientists and clinicians from across the country, which will mean we can start to enjoy these events safely.”
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site NationalWorld