From THAT Jack Whitehall "joke" to Beyoncé and Jay Z posing in front of a Meghan Markle portrait and Matty Healy calling out the patriarchy, here's all the best talking points from this year's awards...
The 1975’s Matty Healy earned widespread praise for addressing patriarchy in the music industry
After taking to the stage to collect the award, the frontman touched on how the music industry and fans view misogynistic artists. Healy highlighted a recent Guardian opinion piece written by journalist Laura Snapes after abuse allegations against Ryan Adams came to light. You can watch the clip below:
Quoting a comment made in the article, Healy said: “in music, ‘male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and examined as traits of difficult artists while women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art.’”
With recent allegations against Ryan Adams coming to light and continuing claims against artists like R Kelly abounding in the music industry, Healy’s comments resonated loudly. With audiences, artists and those working in the industry wanting to see long overdue change in a profession which many feel has long turned a blind eye to its patriarchal and misogynistic treatment of female artists, his comments couldn’t have proved more timely. You can see some of the reaction to the speech below:
Beyoncé and Jay Z used their acceptance speech to take aim at the British Media over their treatment of Meghan Markle
In one of the most surprising turns of the evening, Beyoncé and Jay Z delivered an acceptance speech for ‘Best International Group’ for their collaborative project, The Carters, in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle.
In a scene nodding to their video ‘Apeshit’, Beyoncé and Jay Z posed in front of a Mona Lisa-like portrait of Meghan Markle as Queen Victoria, which many believed was aimed squarely at the British Media over their shabby treatment of Markle in the press.
Taking to Instagram later in the day, Beyoncé elaborated further, saying: “In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.” You can see the posts and watch the video acceptance speech below:
Jack Whitehall managed to offend lots of people with his remarks about Little Mix
BRIT Awards host Jack Whitehall was criticised for being “disrespectful” after making an inappropriate joke about Little Mix last night, in a comment that was a world away from the progressive nature of Healy’s acceptance speech moments earlier. If anything, Whitehall’s comments proved just why Healy’s speech was needed.
After the pop group’s critically-acclaimed performance of ‘Woman Like Me’, Whitehall quipped: “Dads up and down the country are awkwardly fumbling for a scatter cushion right now.” While his comments seemingly received a warm reception inside The O2 Arena, the reaction among viewers elsewhere was altogether more divided, as you can see below. Many fans also took to social media to point out how few awards Little Mix have won over the years, compared to some of their “less successful” male counterparts.
There were claims of a ‘fix’ after The 1975 were accidentally revealed as winners… before the awards had been given out
The BRIT Awards were also accused of being fixed last night, after an advert accidentally revealed the results of two awards before the glittering ceremony had even begun. Viewers were left confused after watching an advert on UKTV that hailed The 1975’s victories some two hours before the ceremony began.
The celebratory advert reportedly described the group as “BRIT Winners” and mentioned their wins for ‘Best British Group’ and ‘British Album Of The Year’ – two prizes that the acclaimed band went on to secure. The gaffe was noticed by radio producer Kieran Thomson, who wrote on Twitter: “An advert on UKTV Play just said The 1975 won Best British Group and British Album of the Year at this year’s BRIT Awards… which aren’t for a few hours?”
Sharing the clip, Kieran said: “Here be the evidence. That’s either a massive marketing cock-up or management for The 1975 somehow knew already… Anyway BRITs fans, spoiler alert, The 1975 win things.” Later on, it was revealed Polydor had told ITV News that ‘”multiple ads were created to cover each eventuality on the evening. Unfortunately due to human error, the wrong ad was sent to one of the broadcasters.” You can see more of the reaction here:
People were won over by P!nk winning the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award…after some earlier scepticism
P!nk’s award for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ to music initially raised a few eyebrows after the announcement earlier this year. However, on the night, social media reacted warmly as she picked up the gong – the first international artist to do so – something helped too by her vibrant, energetic performance widely praised by both fans and artists on the night. Her performance also featured a touching collaboration with Dan from Bastille.
Jess Glynne and HER’s performance split viewers…
On a night that saw one of the most progressive moments in music for years as The 1975 called out patriarchal norms in the music industry during their acceptance speech, Jess Gynne and HER’s performance felt to some like a strange step backwards. At worst a faux feminism cash-in, at best a bit cringeworthy, it saw Glynne, HER and 70 other women (including Glynne’s mum) taking their make up off on stage soundtracked by her song, ‘Thursday’.
According to Glynne, the moment was a symbolic one – a “gesture to remind ourselves and everyone else that it’s OK and we are enough as we are. I hope this moment can hep enforce that no woman is alone.” It may have been well-meaning, but the performance seemed to trade off the one thing it was purporting to prevent: capitalising on how women feel insecure about their looks. Later on, the brand of make up wipes being used Tweeted the moment – adding to the strange feeling of exploitation it generated. However, some did find the performance a powerful one, leading to a mixed bag of reactions overall:
There were some notable acts missing on the night…
Many people have pointed out that The BRITs failed to attract several key international artists to the event last night. A lack of grime acts performing on the night spoke volumes too, as did feeling that the BRIT’s missed a trick in not inviting performances from artists such as Christine and The Queens – known for her stunning live gigs – in a year that saw her achieve one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.
As NME wrote in a five-star review last year, “Christine and the Queens is clearly striving to be a similar sort of chameleon-like artist, riveted on challenging both herself and her audience. On the evidence of ‘Chris’ – a deft and bogglingly-intelligent record, which somehow sounds blissfully effortless too – she’s earned her own place in the pop icon history books.”
Despite another strong year for grime, music lovers at home were unimpressed with the lack of representation for the genre.
The mocking of Fyre Festival went down well with viewers…
Not all of Jack Whitehall’s gags offended – his jibe at the failed Fyre Festival at the start of the evening was a highlight with viewers at home and those inside the O2 Arena. The festival, which was an example of exactly how to never, ever, organise a music festival, was the subject of a popular Netflix documentary earlier this year.
Held on a private Bahamian island, the festival had the endorsement of multiple social media stars but it was, in no uncertain terms, a colossal scam. Attendees ended up on an over-crowded piece of land with no food, collapsing tents, soaking wet beds and erm, no bands. Whitehall’s takedown of the festival at the opening was a joyous highlight.
There was another Glastonbury attendee confirmed… and Lizzo fans loved it
Lizzo confirmed herself to perform at Glastonbury 2019 as you can see in the video below. Speaking to NME on the red carpet of the awards, the singer and rapper was celebrating her whirlwind 12 months off the back of the huge success of single ‘Juice’ and upcoming album ‘Cuz I Love You’. “I knew that my juice was an international banger, but now the world knows it,” she joked.
Asked about her plans for 2019, Lizzo told NME: “I just have a shit tonne of shows and festivals. I’m coming back to London and Manchester. I’m doing Lovebox Festival and Glastonbury but I don’t think that’s announced so, whatever – you just got the scoop, bitch.” The reaction to the news proved popular:
Other talking points…
Ed Sheeran winning Global Success Award for a second year running despite not having an album released in 2018 was a depressing low, highlighting how UK acts are continuing to dwindle in their international significance. Wins for Ariana Grande and George Ezra proved popular at least, with both receiving much acclaim from fans and artists alike. Hugh Jackman’s performance felt like a strange addition to the bill, it feeling like nothing more than a publicity stunt for his upcoming Greatest Showman tour.
Meanwhile, Calvin Harris’ double win felt long overdue – especially after a mammoth fourteen nominations. It was refreshing to see a better balance of female artists both in attendance and winning awards – but the BAME nominations and attendees was again low in comparison, proving once again that work is needed to ensure equality and representation at all our awards ceremonies.