As the Brits returned to London last night, tensions were high as to who would all be taking the coveted musical prize home with them. With Adele being the big winner in 2016, it seemed that all eyes were on a man who, sadly, wasn’t even there: David Bowie. The late musical legend, who passed away last January from cancer, posthumously came out on top as he won every award he was nominated for which included MasterCard British Album Of The Year.
The accolade, presented by Noel Gallagher who pointed at the heavens and said “king” when he announced the winner, was accepted by Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, director of Moon and Source Code. Jones referenced his father’s 1971 hit “Kooks”, saying “this award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks”.
Michael C Hall, who performed in the musical Lazarus, based on the late star, also accepted on behalf of Bowie as he beat stiff competition to clinch the prize for Best Male Solo Artist . Hall joined in by praising Bowie, hailing him as “a man beholden to his own boundless imagination”, wittily stating: “If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn’t be here tonight.”
It wasn’t just Bowie who was paid tribute as George Michael received commendation by Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley, who took to the stage with backing singers Pepsi and Shirley who all tearfully talked about the significance and impact he had on them. This was followed up by a performance of “A Different Corner” by none other than Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, the first of two songs he did that night with a collaboration between his band and The Chainsmokers appearing nearer the end of the night.
The night of tributes meant that the losses were overlooked. It was a disappointing night for grime as Skepta went home empty-handed having been nominated for three awards, beat for the aforementioned Male Solo Artist and Album award by Bowie and robbed of Best British Breakthrough by Rag N Bone Man. Even worse, his performance of 2015 hit Shutdown was heavily censored despite the fact host Dermot O’Leary swore repeatedly last night.
Elsewhere, Skepta’s Boy Better Know colleague and “Hotline Bling” star Drake took home the Best International Male award, though was unable to collect the award as “man had to go to brum”. It wasn’t exclusively a boy’s night though, thankfully, as Little Mix won Best British Single of the year for their chart topping “Shout Out To My Ex” which has been described as a girl power anthem by many.
In addition to that, Katy Perry made a comeback as she performed last night alongside two skeletons who were conveniently enough dressed like Donald Trump and Theresa May. The choice gained quite a bit of controversy, especially amongst none other than the Conservative Party whose MP for Elmet and Rothwell Alec Shelbrooke hit back with a scorching claim that it was “another example of leftie luvvies not being able to accept a democratic outcome”. That’s despite the fact Theresa May didn’t receive a single vote and Donald Trump lost the popular vote but we’ll let that slide for now, Alec.
Political spitefulness aside, The Brits were as predictable as ever with Beyonce, One Direction and The 1975 all winning awards. The only real surprise of the night was A Tribe Called Quest being a total underdog in the International Group category, beating the likes of Kings of Leon and Twenty One Pilots, showing there is potential for The Brits to be exciting. Until then, it’s another long year wait.