Brit Awards 2021: Highlights Rundown

Leah Graham walks us through 2021's COVID-friendly Brit Awards celebration, discussing the various winners and highlights

Leah Graham
17th May 2021
The 41st Brit Awards were held on Tuesday as one of the Covid-friendly trials to see if large-scale events can return in the U.K, and it’s fair to say it was a smashing success.

The night began and ended with some amazing performances, despite being hundreds of miles away, I could feel the energy being projected from the O2 arena. Coldplay gave an energetic performance, but did anyone else feel that their visual effects were a mix of Just Dance avatars and a year 8 disco? Elsewhere Elton John and Olly Alexander gave an astounding performance of 'It’s a Sin', which is sure to go down in Brits history. The two were an unlikely pairing but quickly stole the show.

Maybe I’m getting old, but each year I know fewer artists in attendance. I missed the Olivia Rodrigo bus and hadn’t heard of Griff, but I was a super-fan of both by the end of the night. Their performances were visually and vocally stunning, with the singers shrouded in darkness singing powerful pop ballads that cemented them as stars of the night.

Dua Lipa was an undeniable force as she scooped two awards and was rightfully one of the night's talking points. Starting with a performance on the London underground (interesting choice), the singer performed a Future Nostalgia medley to create one of the best performances. Her vocals, the set design and choreography made for an electric atmosphere that set the stage for the rest of the evening. Later the singer praised the presence of more female singers nominated, before calling Boris out over the minimal pay rise for NHS workers, proclaiming “it’s very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them.”

On the awards side of things, 2021 was the second year to have numerous awards abolished, including Best British Video and the Global Success award. This made for reduced viewing time but made the show more seamless to watch and the presented awards more memorable.

A major talking point of the evening was Little Mix’s win of Best British Group- making them the first female group to do so. The former four-piece band have been snubbed by the Brits for too long; despite delivering many incredible performances and being one of the biggest girl groups of all time, they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve.

In terms of getting recognition, did anyone else subconsciously mouth BTS when Best International Group was presented? Following their award show successes in the past few years, I was surprised when Haim were announced as winners, but their literal speechlessness endeared them and you could tell this award meant a lot.

I can’t finish this piece without mentioning the 4000 key workers making up the audience this year; it was great to see so many people who truly deserve to have fun attending one of these events. Without their hard work, the Brits 2021 wouldn’t have happened and I likely wouldn’t be writing this piece.

Closing thoughts;

  • I’m glad The Weeknd won International Male Solo Artist, after so many hits and I’m glad he’s finally getting recognised in the U.K.
  • Jack Whitehall’s comedy was the best in a while, but I couldn’t tell if I missed his shocking and intrusive questions to celebrities.
  • How did the Brits get Michelle Obama to present an award???
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