Dua Lipa rose as the absolute winner at the Brit 2021 awards ceremony on Tuesday, adding to her record the award for best British female artist and best album, for Future Nostalgia. The Kosovar Albanian-born composer starred in a gala held at the London Dome, which marked the return of live shows to the United Kingdom, suspended by the pandemic. 4,000 guests attended, most of them essential workers, a tribute to their efforts during the worst of the viral crisis.
For the fourth time, comedian Jack Whitehall presented the 10-award show, which opened Coldplay’s performance from a platform on the River Thames. Backed by colorful fireworks and holograms, they presented their new single Higher Power. They were followed by Dua Lipa, wearing the Union Jack, the British flag. While pretending to travel in a version glam of the London Underground, performed some of his best-known hits, such as Hallucinate, Don’t Start Now O Physical. The young American promise Olivia Rodrigo picked up the baton, with the coming-out of her debut on British soil. The winner of the statuette for best new artist, Arlo Parks, played Hope, waste of neosoul nostalgic followed by an epic collaboration of Elton John and Years & Years on It’s a sin, written for the HBO series of the same name.
The artists starred in the night and took most of the awards. Four of the five nominees in the top category, Best British Album, were women. Dua Lipa, who took home two of the three statuettes she aspired to, took advantage of her speeches to vindicate the female role in the music industry, as well as that of workers considered essential during the pandemic: toilets, cashiers or delivery men. “It is very good that we applaud them, but we also have to pay them. We have to send the message to Boris [Johnson] that we support a raise in their salaries ”, claimed the artist.
For the first time in four decades of the gala, the award for global icon went to another woman: Taylor Swift, a pop artist who has managed to place three of her albums at the top of the sales charts in less than a year. “We live in a world where anyone can say what they want about you, but you have the right to prove them wrong,” he said upon receiving the award. For its part, Little Mix was crowned the best British group, another historical moment, since it is the only female group that has obtained such recognition. On stage, trophy in hand, they denounced “discrimination and sexism” that many artists face on a daily basis.
In the international categories, the Californian sisters of the HAIM formation won the award for best group, the young Billie Eilish won the award for best female artist. Former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the brit for best artist to The Weeknd, Canadian songwriter and singer. The powerful voices of Rag N ‘Bone and Pink, backed by a gospel chorus, put the finishing touch to a gala without masks or safety distance that recalled times past. British culture gains muscle after the pandemic.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.