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here's what you missed at the brits 2017

(Or, how all the wrong people won apart from Little Mix).

by i-D Staff
|
Feb 23 2017, 5:17pm

The night started strong with amazing performances from Little Mix and Bruno Mars. The night ended with Robbie Williams performing two songs nobody knew or cared about. Possibly not even Robbie.

But back to the good bits. Little Mix opened the show and were absolutely amazing. Anyone who follows Nick Grimshaw's Instastories will have heard him enthusiastically 'Yas Queen'-ing Perrie and co as they arrived on a throne-like contraption. In a nod to Janet and Michael's "Scream" video, the four-piece sang and danced the butt out of "Shout Out To My Ex."

Also surprisingly amazing was Bruno Mars. Performing what was presumably an album track, he was totally mesmerizing. Also, he looks like the cutest lesbian ever, even though he's a straight man.

The guy from the 1975 made a speech about the importance of using your platform to fight the power, but then proceeded to say nothing else, which was weird. The band chose to fight the power themselves last night by having a cheeky cigarette under the table.

Rita Ora was liiiiiiiiiit while co-presenting an award with Nick Grimshaw. Perhaps she went straight home afterwards and got some sleep as she was surprisingly sparkling on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show first thing this morning.

Bowie won Best Male Artist over Skepta. Actor Michael C Hall accepted on his behalf, commenting, "if Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn't be here tonight." Which surely confirms that that Skepta should definitely have won?

In fact, the Brit winners were all too depressingly predictable. As one person on the night noted, 'they gave us the chips, but not the steak'. Having promised to do better with its commitment to a more diverse BRITs this year, The BRITs chose to honor the obvious, ignoring the grime scene which has been a powerful force in contemporary culture. With Skepta, Stormzy, and Kano all up for awards, hopes were high that one of the three would take home an award, indicating that The BRITs really were trying to do better. It wasn't to be.

Luckily, Ed Sheeran chose to use his platform, inviting Stormzy onstage to share the spotlight. They don't share a label, they haven't made a song together, but Ed clearly realized if he didn't give Stormzy a chance, then The BRITs certainly wouldn't. Although Skepta did perform, promo from The BRITs' social accounts on the day managed to neglect all mention of Skepta's performance.

Little Mix won Best British Single for "Shout Out To My Ex." After much excitement and readjusting of dresses, the girls took their first ever BRIT and dedicated it to those who are no longer with them. "Cheers to our exes for helping us to write this amazing song. This is for you lads!" Arguably the most well deserved win of the night.

Chris Martin — for no clear reason other than he's also a British male singer — was chosen to perform the George Michael tribute. It seemed strange that someone more suitable, like Sam Smith, wasn't asked to perform, especially as Martin then forced his awful new single with the Chainsmokers upon us. Oh dear.

Though it was a shame that the Grammy's got Adele and The BRITs got Chris Martin, George Michael's tribute by Andrew Ridgeley, and Pepsi and Shirlie, was hands down the most touching moment of the night. The three paid tribute to their friend in a speech that celebrated George's artistry, the ways in which he changed music and even the world, and his impact on them personally. It was a beautiful moment and bought the (normally cynical record industry) audience to their feet.

Talking of feet, everyone got up for Skepta's rousing performance of "Shutdown." Performing onstage alone, Skep bought the energy crew through with his hit single, which has since jumped up the charts over night. During the performance the huge screens behind Skep showed a number of images from This Is Grime, the book by i-D's Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose. Skepta chose a range of portraits, from Devlin to Dizzee, Ghetts to Giggs which flashed up as a reminder that the greatness is built by many.

Katy Perry performed her new single "Chained To The Rhythm" with Skip Marley and a whole town of dancers inside cardboard houses — one of whom will forever be known as the house that fell off the stage at The BRITs. They were joined by giant dancing skeletons apparently representing Donald Trump and Theresa May. Despite the day of the dead party in the suburbs that seemed to be unfolding, it dawned on us that the track really was a Trump protest song after all.

Naomi Campbell declared Adele the winner of the Global Success award, The BRIT school kids in the pit went wild. Disappointingly there was none of last years tear-filled swear fest because Adele couldn't make it, instead sending a video of her saying thanks and insisting that BRIT attendees "get a bit swervy, like 'er!" waving her Zaha Hadid designed award around in front of the camera.

Drake won Best International Male (having previously been nominated twice and not won) and sent in a lovely video saying that we obviously know just how much he cares about London, and sending much love to his brother Skep before signing off, "OVO BBK to the world!" Cute. Beyoncé won Best International Female and didn't bother sending a thank you note. Neither did A Tribe Called Quest for Best International Group. Busy I guess.

The best bit of the night was the afterparty, Skepta's No Merci throwdown at Omeara with Beats By Dr. Dre. Devoid of stuffy industry execs, the party was instead full of friends and family who wanted to celebrate the success of both Skepta and the scene at large.

Credits


Text Hattie Collins and Frankie Dunn