It is typically the most wild night in the showbiz calendar – laden with boozy bashes and raucous displays.
Yet the 2021 BRIT Awards – like all big scale events to come – were certainly different this year, although that did not stop the stars having a wild time, with Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall leading the way in sensational style alongside Taylor Swift, Haim, Lewis Capaldi and Maya Jama, who documented the frolics on social media.
The evening saw the band, who are the most nominated girl band in BRIT Award history, finally bag the title of Best British Group and made history as the first-ever girl band to win – which they marked with a poignant speech about male dominance and the struggles of being women in the music industry.
Joined in a car by her pregnant bandmates Perrie Edwards, 27, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 29, who both announced their baby news within the past fortnight, Jade, 28, was raising her fingers at the camera and going wild.
Woah! The 2021 BRIT Awards – like all big scale events to come – were certainly different this year, yet that did not stop the stars having a wild time, with Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall leading the way in sensational style
In their speech, the trio said: ‘It’s not easy being a female in the U.K. pop industry. We’ve seen white male dominance, misogyny, sexism and lack of diversity. We’re proud of how we’ve stuck together, stood our ground, surrounded ourselves with strong women, and are now using our voices more than ever…
‘The fact that a girl band has never won this award really does speak volumes, so this award isn’t just for us, it’s for the Spice Girls, Sugababes, All Saints, Girls Aloud, all of the incredible female bands. This one’s for you!’
Joining in the fun was Maya Jama who was partying up a storm with Lewis Capaldi, as the pair took to Instagram to share a selfie showing the fun was rolling after the ceremony.
She later snapped selfies with Nick Grimshaw and posed up a storm with former professional footballer and TV host Alex Scott, who professed she is ‘here for a good time not a long time’.
Bringing the stateside fun was Haim and Taylor Swift, who clutched drinks while intertwined in a knot for a snap.
Rock on! Joined in a car by her pregnant bandmates Perrie Edwards, 27, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 29, who both announced their baby news within the past fortnight, Jade, 28, was raising her fingers at the camera
At last! The evening saw the band, who are the most nominated girl band in BRIT Award history, finally bag the title of British Group and made history as the first-ever girl band to win – which they marked with a poignant speech about the male patriarchy and the struggles of being women in the industry
Little Minx! Jade was not holding back as she rocked out for the camera while Perrie covered her face
Never to be outdone, Gemma Collins was making the most of her night on the town as she partied in a corporate box with Roman Kemp and Tallia Storm while sipping on Dom Pérignon – which averages around £130 a bottle.
In an explosion of colour and optimism, the 2021 BRIT Awards celebrated the achievements of British and international artists over the last 18 months.
The awards ceremony truly belonged to Dua Lipa, 25, as the evening saw her scoop the accolade for Female Solo Artist and the Mastercard British Album of the Year Award for her lockdown hit Future Nostalgia.
This year’s Rising Star award winner Griff was handed the baton for the honour by 2020’s Rising Star winner Celeste, who herself was up for three further awards.
And Arlo Parks was crowned Breakthrough Artist, one of the three awards the star was nominated for, after what has been an incredible year for the young London artist.
Happy days: Joining in the fun was Maya Jama who was partying up a storm with Lewis Capaldi, as the pair took to Instagram to share a selfie showing the fun was rolling after the ceremony
Living it up: She later snapped selfies with Nick Grimshaw and posed up a storm with former professional footballer and TV host Alex Scott, who professed she is ‘here for a good time not a long time’
She also made her debut BRITs performance with an elegant rendition of Hope and decorated the set as a sunflower field in a nod to the name of her debut album.
Meanwhile, the International Group category followed a similar suit, with the California girlband HAIM in attendance to accept their award.
And the accolade for International Female was given to the 19-year-old Bad Guy hitmaker Billie Eilish, who accepted the award via a pre-recorded video acceptance speech.
The Weeknd emerged victorious in the International Male Solo Artist category with his award presented by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
Living it up: Bringing the stateside fun was Haim and Taylor Swift, who clutched drinks while intertwined in a knot for a snap
The Blinding Lights hitmaker treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his single Save Your Tears, pre-recorded from the US.
Dem Boy Paigon hitmaker JHUS scooped the Male Solo Artist award, which was accepted on his behalf by DJ Semtex in his absence.
Following a successful awards season stateside, One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles scooped Best British Single with his summertime track Watermelon Sugar.
The first female artist to win the highest BRITs accolade and the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date, Taylor Swift appeared in person to accept the special Global Icon award, which was presented by Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.
Feeling silly girls? Taylor was also seen pulling silly faces while living it up with Olivia Rodrigo
Each winner was presented with the BRITs’ first-ever collaborative double-trophy, designed by Es Devlin OBE and Yinka Ilori MBE, with each recipient encouraged to re-gift the smaller trophy to someone else.
The awards, hosted by Jack Whitehall, marked the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses released 2,500 free tickets to key workers.
The show saw a total of 11 awards handed out alongside nine unbeatable show-stopping performances, six of which were able to be staged live in stadium.
The show officially opened with fireworks and a UK exclusive performance by Coldplay of their new song Higher Power from the River Thames.
The BRITs is known for its unique collaborations and this year was no different, with Elton John and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander joining forces for a spectacular performance of the Pet Shop Boys’ classic It’s A Sin.
The recorded version of the song will now be available to purchase as a single in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation charity.
A second collaboration saw Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk perform their new single Anywhere Away from Here, with P!nk joining remotely from the US.
And the musical duo were joined by special guest singers from the Greenwich and Lewisham NHS Trust Choir, providing an emotional climax to the show.
Another US star who made it to The O2 was Olivia Rodrigo who lit up the stage with a performance of her stunning hit single, Drivers Licence.
Twice nominated Headie One also blew the audience away with a special performance of Ain’t It Different/Princess Cuts, joined by fellow nominees AJ Tracey and Young T & Bugsey.
Over the moon! Just days after announcing their pregnancies, Leigh-Anne and Perrie took to the stage with Jade to accept the coveted prize, paying tribute to former bandmate Jesy Nelson
Glowing: The trio coordinated in glamorous white ball gowns, with the two mums-to-be cradling their stomachs as they posed for some snaps just days after announcing their pregnancies
Presenters on the night included: Annie Mac, Boy George, Celeste, Lewis Capaldi, Kurupt FM and Mabel.
The event was Co-Chaired by Rebecca Allen (President EMI Records) and Selina Webb (EVP Universal Music UK), who oversaw the creative team which along with Devlin and Ilori also included BRITs TV Executive Producer Sally Wood.
The ceremony, which was broadcasted live on ITV, celebrated the return to live music and Dua Lipa promised those attending that it would ‘be a night to remember’.
The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme, and used enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.
Elated: Leigh-Anne (far left) said: ‘We have been together for 10 years it’s been the best years of our life, we’ve had so much fun we’ve made so many memories, we want to thank your incredible fans, Jesy’
Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, The BRITs was the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, with 4,000 tickets being up for grabs – just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity
The BRITs played an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions.
Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the arena, but were required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.
Among the rules, attendees had to have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue.
As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, attendees were also asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.
BRIT AWARDS WINNERS 2021
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
DUA LIPA – WINNER
LIANNE LA HAVAS
MALE SOLO ARTIST
J HUS – WINNER
LITTLE MIX – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
BRITs RISING STAR
GRIFF WARNER – WINNER
ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS
CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE
DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA – WINNER
J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY
JESSIE WARE WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE?
HAIM – WINNER
RUN THE JEWELS
ARLO PARKS – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
220 KID & GRACEY DON’T NEED LOVE
AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN
DUA LIPA PHYSICAL
HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR – WINNER
HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN’T IT DIFFERENT
JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART
NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER
REGARD & RAYE SECRETS
S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE
YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON’T RUSH
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
BILLIE EILISH – WINNER
INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
TAME IMPALA FICTION
THE WEEKND – WINNER