The 2021 Brit Awards took over London’s O2 Arena, marking the first, live large-scale indoor event since March of last year.
British comedian Jack Whitehall reprised his role as host for the ceremony, which was delayed from its usual February spot due to the pandemic.
Unlike the Grammys, artists took the stage in front of a live studio audience, with stunning performances from The Weeknd, who performed “Save Your Tears” along with Oneohtrix Point Never, Elton John enlisted Years & Years’ Olly Alexander for a rendition of the Pet Shop Boys “It’s A Sin,’ from Alexander’s show of the same name, and rising star Olivia Rodrigo gave her first live TV performance of her smash hit “driver’s license.”
Rodrigo is equally popular in the UK, with “driver’s license” topping the UK charts at No.1 for nine weeks. Rodrigo will also be performing her hit song live this weekend on Saturday Night Live.
Along with many of the night’s big performances, international artists also picked up several awards at the UK ceremony.
The Weekend won International Male Solo Artist, Taylor Swift became the first female and youngest artist in history to receive the Global Icon Award, Billie Eilish picked up the award for International Female Artist, and HAIM won for International Group.
Along with thanking the UK musical community, Swift especially thanked the NHS healthcare workers who were in attendance and helping to keep the event COVID-safe.
Meanwhile, Alana Haim also thanked their UK fanbase. “Sisters! This is incredible … the UK was the first place to ever embrace us in the entire world and for that, honestly, we will be forever grateful.”
The last time an all-female group won this award was the Corrs in 1999 and The Bangles in 1987.
Among the many talented UK artists in attendance were Coldplay, Arlo Parks, Griff, and Dua Lipa, who also gave stellar performances.
Watch all of the performances here and see the full list of winners below.
British female: Dua Lipa
British male: J Hus
British group: Little Mix
Breakthrough artist: Arlo Parks
British single: Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
British album: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
International female: Billie Eilish
International male: The Weeknd
International group: Haim
Global icon: Taylor Swift
Rising star: Griff