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THE BRITS: WHO WON, WHO PERFORMED

Stormzy and Dua Lipa were the multiple award winners Wednesday at the BRIT Awards. Stormzy took home British Album of the Year and British Male Solo Artist while Lipa, who had five noms, received red trophies for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.

Stormzy’s win for British Album of the Year was a major surprise, besting Ed Sheeran’s Divide and Lipa’s self-titled Warner release. His Gang Signs and Prayers, released a year ago this week, became the first grime album to hit #1 in the U.K.

In his acceptance speech prior to a show-closing performance, Stormzy called it “The hardest thing … I never worked [so hard], never given my entire being, my entire emotion like I did. … I can stand by it today.” He and his #Merky label signed a deal with Atlantic U.K. last month.

Lipa, who delivered an engaging performance of "New Rules" after the first win, thanked fans, family, managers and the staff at Warner Bros. before giving a shout-out to every woman who has ever been on the stage at The Brits, concluding with a hope for “more women taking over the world.”

The British Group trophy for Gorillaz is their first-ever BRIT. Damon Albarn took up the subject of Brexit in his acceptance speech, saying “don’t let England become isolated. We do incredible things in music [despite being a small country]. Don’t let politics get in the way.”

Kendrick Lamar was named International Male Solo Artist, Lorde was tagged International Female Solo Artist and The Foo Fighters won the International Group award for the fourth time. Dave Grohl said the band’s 20-plus years of traveling to the U.K. give the award added importance, calling Brits “the best audience in the world. You taught us how to be a band.”

Rag 'n' Bone Man's "Human" won the British Single honor; it's his third BRIT. British Artist Video, voted on during the show, went to Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.”

Ron Wood presented Sheeran with the Global Success Award, his fifth BRIT. A video delivered the numbers that made him deserving: 12.3m sales of Divide, which went #1 in 117 countries. Its songs have been streamed 15.4b times.

A smashing two-song performance from Justin Timberlake opened the show; “Midnight Summer Jam” got it off to a playful start before Chris Stapleton joined him for “Say Something.” They started intimately,  strumming acoustic guitars and singing before a full band and a massive choir spread out through the O2 Arena joined in.

Sheeran also employed a choir for his weeper, "Supermarket Flowers." Sam Smith delivered a sweetly soulful “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Rag 'n' Bone Man got the parade of ballads started with "Skin," performed with Jorja Smith against a set in flames. Performance-wise, consider it a controlled burn. 

Liam Gallagher performed an acoustic version of "Live Forever" in tribute to the victims of last year's Manchester tragedy. 

The Foos delivered their first performance ever at the BRITS, playing “The Sky is a Neighborhood” on set that host Jack Whitehall referred to as “a hastily constructed ski chalet.” The band managed to get through the performance without any broken bones.

After Kendrick rapped “FEEL,” Rich the Kid joined him for “New Freezer” during which he released his inner-Cameron Frye on a Ferrari.

Ellie Goulding got in a swing at the Grammy Awards, saying “we’ve been stepping up for years” during an award introduction that included a thank you to all the attendees donning white roses.

 

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