M.I.A. has come out in support of migrants while condemning the UK arms industry, in a speech at tonight’s (February 15) VO5 NME Awards 2017.
After winning Best British Female, the outspoken star introduced a special one-off performance from the Band 4 Refugees supergroup, consisting of members from Years & Years, Slaves and Black Honey. Speaking in support of the Help Refugees charity, M.I.A. said: “It’s really fucking simple. I worked with them last year and I went to Athens, I saw the work they did. It’s also the [charity] that got Lily Allen into loads of shit. They do amazing work and they’re working with NME tonight.”
She went on to condemn the arms industry, which she partly blamed for the current refugee crisis. “It really sucks to be talking about people that need help, even though we have to. But it should also be a time that everyone starts looking at the huge weapons arms industry, led by Britain and America. If we address that and talk about them more freely, then we could solve some of this shit. It should go hand in hand.”
Make sure you tune into the Facebook Live stream on NME’s official Facebook page. During Bands4Refugees’ performance details of how to donate to Help Refugees will be shown on screen – or you can text REFU to 70700 to give £5.
A host of stars and musicians have already hit the red carpet, including Wiley, who was dressed in a full Atletico Madrid tracksuit, Johnny Marr, Biffy Clyro, Slaves, MIA and Isaac Hempstead Wright who plays Bran Stark in Game Of Thrones.
Bastille opened the ceremony tonight at London’s O2 Academy Brixton with a live performance of ‘Good Grief’, which is in the running for Best Track supported by Red Stripe. It also features on their second album ‘Wild World’, which is also up for Best Album supported by HMV. Wiley made a special appearance after collecting the Outstanding Contribution To Music award.