Two Brit Awards for Dua Lipa – Taylor Swift receives an honorary award in front of 4,000 spectators

London. It was a first step towards normalcy after the pandemic, but there is still room for improvement in terms of mood. In front of 4,000 spectators, the Brit Awards were presented on Tuesday in London – without masks, without distance, but with comprehensive corona tests. Pop singer Dua Lipa was recognized as the best British artist and for the album of the year (“Future Nostalgia”). The Londoner was the winner of the evening. The show was stolen from her by superstar Taylor Swift, who received the “Global Icon Award”, and the medical support staff in the stands of the London o2 arena.

The Brit Awards was the UK’s first major indoor music event in front of an audience in more than a year. 2500 front workers received free tickets for their work in the corona pandemic. Dua Lipa, who received her fourth and fifth Brit Awards, recognized her in her acceptance speech. “It’s nice that we clap for them, but we also have to pay them,” said the 25-year-old and addressed her request to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to great applause. “We should send Boris a message that we all support fair pay for our front-line forces.”

Taylor Swift accepts the Global Icon Award during the Brit Awards 2021. © Quelle: Ian West / PA Wire / AP / dpa

Taylor Swift also thanked the helpers. The American, who had shone through her absence in previous years, came to London as a surprise to receive the honorary award that only David Bowie, Elton John and Robbie Williams had received before her. In a long acceptance speech, she spoke about resistance, expectations and hostility. “You can’t let that ruin you, you have to use it as a drive,” said Swift. “You have the right to prove them wrong.” Her fans did not enjoy a music performance by the “Shake It Off” singer on Tuesday.

“Watermelon Sugar” best British single

Other winners of the evening were rapper J Hus, who received the award for best British artist, and singer Harry Styles, who received an award for his single “Watermelon Sugar”. Styles appeared in a whimsical suit with the design of a 1970s wallpaper. The trophy for the best British band went to an all-female group for the first time in the history of the Brit Awards. Little Mix, recently reduced to a trio, dedicated their trophy to the Spice Girls, the Sugababes and other British girl bands.

Singer Harry Styles receives the award for Best British Single at the Brit Awards 2021. © Quelle: Ian West / PA via AP / dpa

Billie Eilish and The Weeknd were recognized as international stars. Eilish thanked them by video, and the Canadian singer The Weeknd sent a pre-recorded performance. On the other hand, the members of Haim had put up with an extra ten days of hotel quarantine in order to attend the prestigious award ceremony – and it was worth it: The visibly surprised sister trio from Los Angeles received the award as the best international band and stabbed the Foo Fighters and the South Korean boy band BTS.

In addition to the Grammys, the Brit Awards, established in 1977, are considered the most important music prizes in the world. In recent years, national and international stars have caused a sensation with spectacular appearances at the award ceremony. This year the show was much more restrained, and the mood in the less than a third filled arena could be improved.

The band Coldplay played on a boat on the Thames at the beginning of the show. Dua Lipa was only partially convincing vocally, and singer Arlo Parks, who was honored as a “Breakthrough Artist”, sounded a little weird. Rag’n’Bone Man performed a pseudo duet with Pink, which was not there live, but was recorded as a video. The only real highlight of the show was a rousing appearance by Sir Elton John and Years And Years, who sang their charity single “It’s A Sin”, a cover for the Pet Shop Boys.