LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 22, 2017) (BRIT AWARDS LIMITED) – The 1975, Rag’N’Bone Man, Emeli Sande and Little Mix reacted to their BRIT Award wins on Wednesday (February 22), at a ceremony that saw late music icon David Bowie honoured with two prizes.
Bowie beat off competition from the likes of grime artist Skepta, rapper Kano and singer Michael Kiwanuka to take the British male solo artist and album of the year awards.
The pop chameleon, who won legions of fans with his ground-breaking music, released his last album, “Blackstar,” days before his death from cancer at age of 69 in January 2016.
The UK’s top music awards also honoured George Michael, who died in December, with a tribute of his song “A Different Corner,” performed by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
The “British Group” accolade went to band The 1975.
“It also sets a standard as well you know with the kind of climate and the whole you know, the socio-political… the climate, I think that you know Bowie, Prince, George Michael, you know, not only did they kind of change how people spoke about sexuality in public, it changed a lot of things and you know I think that they prove that you can you know be socially… have pop music that is a social commentary and is didacting (sic) and informative, and also reach millions of people, so you know, there’s no excuse really not to try and do what they did,” said frontman Matthew Healy.
Singer-songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man, who was already announced as the “Critics Choice” pick for this year’s awards, took “British Breakthrough Act.” He also beat Skepta, who performed but went home empty-handed despite three nominations.
“Well, the thing is, this first one has little marks on it because my cat was chewing it, so I was trying to put it somewhere where she couldn’t get to it so we’re going to have to find somewhere away from her so she doesn’t chew the other one,” he said, clutching two trophies.
Other winners included girl band Little Mix, who won the “British single” prize for the song “Shout Out to My Ex.”
“We’ve enjoyed ourselves, we’ve celebrated with a few bottles of wine,” said Little Mix member Leigh-Anne Pinnock amongst her giggling bandmates.
Songstress Adele, whose album “25” triumphed at last year’s BRITs and the Grammys, won the “BRITS global success award” for international sales of that same chart-topping work.
Held in the capital’s O2 arena, the televised BRITs are the mainstream British music industry’s top awards ceremony. The evening saw performances from Katy Perry, Robbie Williams, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran.