The Most Important Things To Happen At The BRIT Awards 2020

Photo by Samir Hussein/Contributor/Getty Images
This year marks the BRIT Awards' 40th birthday and after an emotional, politically charged evening, the 2020 ceremony is certainly not going to be forgotten any time soon. Dave brought some critical home truths to the stage in his explosive performance, Billie Eilish gave a world exclusive and Lizzo spontaneously downed Harry Styles' glass of neat tequila. And that’s not even the half of it.   
Comedian Jack Whitehall returned to London’s O2 arena to host the show for the third year in the row and used his opening speech to remind us all of what’s become an important focus this awards season. "Environmental issues have been a big theme of awards shows this year," he said. "And in the spirit of sustainability, the BRITs has been recycling all the same excuses for why so few women were nominated."
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Here, he was referring to the fact that the 2020 nominations showcased an embarrassingly low turnout for female artists, with just one woman in the running for the mixed awards (Mabel was nominated for Best Song and Best New Artist). Whitehall concluded his introduction with a touching tribute to presenter Caroline Flack, "one of the Brits family" who died at the weekend. "She was a kind and vibrant person with an infectious sense of fun," he said. "She will be sorely missed."
The evening's first category was New Artist Of The Year. The award went to Lewis Capaldi who was honoured by having his entire acceptance speech bleeped out. Turns out, he had simply said "Thank you so fucking much," but of course Ofcom’s pre-watershed rules and regulations do not allow swear words.
The Scottish singer (and national treasure) managed to keep it clean for his second speech of the night, though. When he took to the stage to collect the statue for Song of the Year (with a bottle of Buckfast in the other hand, obviously), he revealed that his winning song "Someone You Loved" was not about his ex-girlfriend, who is currently a contestant on Love Island, but rather his grandmother, who passed away a couple of years ago. He then gave an awkward and mumbled thanks to his parents for hooking up before shuffling back to his seat.
There were welcome moments of lightness in Whitehall's celebrity mingling, particularly with Harry Styles and Lizzo; a duo whose beautiful relationship only seems to be blossoming. Both stars performed during the course of the ceremony – Styles with an exceptional performance of "Falling" and Lizzo with an energetic medley of her hits. The highlight of the evening, however, had to be when Whitehall 'mistakenly' took a sip from what he thought was Styles' glass of juice. It was in fact straight tequila, which Lizzo calmly polished off to a large round of applause.
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The most impactful moment of the ceremony came from Dave. In a chilling performance of "Black" with nothing but a piano lit up by text, graphics and illustrations, the rapper added a new verse in which he addressed the government, Grenfell and Windrush, as well as paying tribute to London Bridge attack victim Jack Merritt with a concise, gut-punching delivery.
Lines like "The truth is our prime minister is a real racist", "How the news treats Kate versus how they treat Meghan", "Rest In Peace Jack Merritt, you’re my brother in arms" and "Grenfell victims still need accommodation, and we still need support for the Windrush generation, reparations for the time our people spent on plantations" will no doubt ripple through Twitter over the next few days. It was a performance that made Dave’s eventual Album Of The Year win even more pertinent.
Stormzy gave the penultimate performance of the night, delivering a headline-worthy set of hits from his second album Heavy Is The Head after picking up the award for Best Male Artist earlier in the evening. Billie Eilish took home the award for International Female Artist after performing her James Bond theme tune "No Time To Die" with her co-writer and brother Finneas, Bond theme collaborator and ex-Smiths member Johnny Marr and an orchestra conducted by musical legend Hans Zimmer, for the first time.
Eilish opened up about having experienced a challenging few days in her acceptance speech. "I have felt very hated recently," Eilish explained to the crowd. "But when I was on the stage and saw you guys smiling at me, it genuinely made me want to cry. I want to cry right now," she added, thanking her fans for their ongoing support.
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The ceremony was then closed by Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood who gave a delightfully nostalgic performance which, to be honest, was nothing compared to the rogue video of him taking the London Underground to the arena earlier in the day.
See the full list of winners below:

Male Solo Artist

Dave
Harry Styles
Lewis Capaldi
Michael Kiwanuka
Stormzy (Winner)

Female Solo Artist

Charli XCX
FKA Twigs
Freya Ridings
Mabel (Winner)
Mahalia

Best Group

Bastille
Bring Me the Horizon
Coldplay
D-Block Europe
Foals (Winner)

Song of the Year

AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man – Giant
Dave ft Burna Boy – Location
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved (Winner)
Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
Mark Ronson ft Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Sam Smith & Normani – Dancing With A Stranger
Stormzy – Vossi Bop
Tom Walker – Just You and I

Mastercard Album of the Year

Dave – Psychodrama (Winner)
Harry Styles – Fine Line
Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Stormzy – Heavy is the Head

Best New artist

Aitch
Dave
Lewis Capaldi (Winner)
Mabel
Sam Fender

International Female Solo Artist

Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish (Winner)
Camila Cabello
Lana Del Rey
Lizzo

International Male Solo Artist

Bruce Springsteen
Burna Boy
Dermot Kennedy
Post Malone
Tyler the Creator (Winner)

Rising Star – winner announced in December 2019

Beabadoobee
Celeste (Winner)
Joy Crookes
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