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Brit Awards

The BRIT Awards
2015 BRIT Awards
The entrance to Earls Court in London on the evening of the 2008 BRIT Awards ceremony.
Awarded for Excellence in music
Country United Kingdom
Presented by British Phonographic Industry
First awarded 1977
Official website
Television/Radio coverage

The Brit Awards (sometimes stylised as the BRIT Awards; often simply called the Brits) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards, and the British equivalent of the American Grammy Awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia" (in the early days the awards were sponsored by Britannia Music Club), but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trusts Show.[1] In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic Brit Awards, is held each May. Robbie Williams holds the record for the most Brit Awards, 12 as a solo artist and another five as part of Take That.

The awards began in 1977 as part of the commemoration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee[2] and as an annual event in 1982 under the auspices of the British record industry's trade association, the BPI. In 1989 they were renamed the Brit Awards.[3] MasterCard has been the long-time sponsor of the event.[4]

The Brit Awards were broadcast live until 1989, when Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood hosted a widely criticised show in which little went as rehearsed.[5] In subsequent years, the event was recorded and broadcast the following night. From 2007, the Brit Awards reverted to a live broadcast on British television, on 14 February on ITV.[5] In that year, comedian Russell Brand was presenter and three awards were dropped from the ceremony: Best British Rock Act, Best British Urban Act and Best Pop Act.[5] On 18 February 2009, the venue for the BRITs was once again the Earls Court, London. The Brit Awards were held at The O2 in London for the first time in 2011.[6]


  • Ceremonies 1
    • Table summary 1.1
  • Notable moments 2
    • Electricians' strike (1987) 2.1
    • Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood (1989) 2.2
    • Freddie Mercury's final public appearance (1990) 2.3
    • The KLF (1992) 2.4
    • Michael Jackson and Jarvis Cocker (1996) 2.5
    • Oasis and Blur rivalry (1996) 2.6
    • Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress (1997) 2.7
    • Chumbawamba and John Prescott (1998) 2.8
    • Belle and Sebastian (1999) 2.9
    • Ronnie Wood and Brandon Block confrontation (2000) 2.10
    • Geri Halliwell Vs. The Spice Girls (2000) 2.11
    • Russell Brand (2007) 2.12
    • Vic Reeves and Sharon Osbourne (2008) 2.13
    • Girls Aloud's performance of "The Promise" (2009) 2.14
    • Adele's performance of "Someone like You" (2011) 2.15
    • Adele speech cut short (2012) 2.16
    • David Bowie enters Scottish independence debate (2014) 2.17
    • Kanye West's performance of "All Day" (2015) 2.18
    • Madonna's fall on stage (2015) 2.19
  • Categories 3
  • Performances 4
  • Most successful acts 5
  • Viewing figures 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The first awards ceremony was in 1977, as "The BRITish Record Industry BRITannia Awards", to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and was televised by Thames Television. There have been 35 editions to date (with no ceremonies held between 1978 and 1981).[7] The 2015 BRIT Awards was held on 25 February 2015.

The 1988 BPI Awards was the first of the ceremonies to be broadcast on live television. The BBC had previously broadcast the ceremony from 1985, with the shows from 1982 to 1984 not broadcast on television.[8] BBC continued to broadcast the renamed BRIT Awards, live in 1989 and pre-recorded from 1990 to 1992.

ITV have broadcast the awards since 1993, pre-recorded until 2006 and live from 2007 onwards.[5] BBC Radio 1 has provided backstage radio coverage since 2008.

Table summary

No. Ceremony Date Broadcaster(s) Multiple wins British Album of the Year winner British Single of the Year winner(s) Outstanding contribution winner(s) Host(s) Venue
1^ 1977 BPI Awards 18 October 1977 Thames Television[9]
The Beatles (3 awards) The BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody" & Procol Harum – "A Whiter Shade of Pale" L.G. Wood[10] & The Beatles Michael Aspel Wembley Conference Centre, London
2 1982 BPI Awards 4 February 1982 N/A No clear winner "Kings of the Wild Frontier" – Adam & the Ants "Tainted Love" – Soft Cell John Lennon David Jacobs Grosvenor House Hotel, London
3 1983 BPI Awards 8 February 1983 Paul McCartney (2 awards) "Memories" – Barbra Streisand "Come on Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners The Beatles Tim Rice
4 1984 BPI Awards 21 February 1984 Culture Club & Michael Jackson (2 awards) "Thriller" – Michael Jackson Culture Club – "Karma Chameleon" George Martin
5 1985 BPI Awards 11 February 1985 BBC Prince (2 awards) "Diamond Life" – Sade Frankie Goes to Hollywood – "Relax" The Police Noel Edmonds
6 1986 BPI Awards 10 February 1986 Eurythmics (2 awards) "No Jacket Required" – Phil Collins Tears for Fears – "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Elton John & Wham!
7 1987 BPI Awards 9 February 1987 Peter Gabriel (2 awards) "Brothers in Arms" – Dire Straits Pet Shop Boys – "West End Girls" Eric Clapton Jonathan King
8 1988 BPI Awards 8 February 1988 No clear winner "...Nothing Like the Sun" – Sting Rick Astley – "Never Gonna Give You Up" The Who Noel Edmonds Royal Albert Hall, London
9 1989 BRIT Awards 13 February 1989 Fairground Attraction, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins & Tracy Chapman (2 awards) "The First of a Million Kisses" – Fairground Attraction Fairground Attraction – "Perfect" Cliff Richard Samantha Fox & Mick Fleetwood
10 1990 BRIT Awards 18 February 1990 Fine Young Cannibals, Neneh Cherry, Phil Collins & Queen (2 awards) "The Raw and the Cooked" – Fine Young Cannibals Phil Collins – "Another Day in Paradise" Queen Cathy McGowan Dominion Theatre, London
11 1991 BRIT Awards 10 February 1991 No clear winner "George Michael Depeche Mode – "Enjoy the Silence" Status Quo Simon Bates (voiceover)
12 1992 BRIT Awards 12 February 1992 Seal (3 awards) "Seal" – Seal Queen – "These Are the Days of Our Lives" Freddie Mercury Odeon Hammersmith, London
13 1993 BRIT Awards 16 February 1993 ITV Annie Lennox & Simply Red (2 awards) "Diva" – Annie Lennox Take That – "Could It Be Magic" Rod Stewart Richard O'Brien Alexandra Palace, London
14 1994 BRIT Awards 14 February 1994 Björk, Stereo MC's and Take That (2 awards) "Connected" – Stereo MC's Take That – "Pray" Van Morrison Elton John & RuPaul
15 1995 BRIT Awards 20 February 1995 Blur (4 awards) "Parklife" – Blur Blur – "Parklife" Elton John Chris Evans
16 1996 BRIT Awards 19 February 1996 Oasis (3 awards) "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" – Oasis Take That – "Back for Good" David Bowie Earls Court, London
17 1997 BRIT Awards 24 February 1997 Manic Street Preachers & Spice Girls (2 awards) "Everything Must Go" – Manic Street Preachers Spice Girls – "Wannabe" Bee Gees Ben Elton
18 1998 BRIT Awards 9 February 1998 The Verve (3 awards) "Urban Hymns" – The Verve All Saints – "Never Ever" Fleetwood Mac London Arena, London
19 1999 BRIT Awards 16 February 1999 Robbie Williams (3 awards) "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" – Manic Street Preachers Robbie Williams – "Angels" Eurythmics Johnny Vaughan
20 2000 BRIT Awards 3 March 2000 Macy Gray, Robbie Williams and Travis (2 awards) "The Man Who" – Travis Robbie Williams – "She's the One" Spice Girls Davina McCall Earls Court, London
21 2001 BRIT Awards 26 February 2001 Robbie Williams (3 awards) "Parachutes" – Coldplay Robbie Williams – "Rock DJ" U2 Ant & Dec
22 2002 BRIT Awards 20 February 2002 Dido & Kylie Minogue (2 awards) "No Angel" – Dido S Club 7 – "Don't Stop Movin'" Sting Frank Skinner & Zoë Ball
23 2003 BRIT Awards 20 February 2003 Coldplay, Eminem & Ms. Dynamite (2 awards) "A Rush of Blood to the Head" – Coldplay Liberty X – "Just a Little" Tom Jones Davina McCall
24 2004 BRIT Awards 17 February 2004 The Darkness (3 awards) "Permission to Land" – The Darkness Dido – "White Flag" Duran Duran Cat Deeley
25 2005 BRIT Awards 9 February 2005 Scissor Sisters (3 awards) "Hopes and Fears" – Keane Will Young – "Your Game" Bob Geldof Chris Evans
26 2006 BRIT Awards 14 February 2006 Kaiser Chiefs (3 awards) "X&Y" – Coldplay Coldplay – "Speed of Sound" Paul Weller
27 2007 BRIT Awards 15 February 2007 Arctic Monkeys & The Killers (2 awards) "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" – Arctic Monkeys Take That – "Patience" Oasis Russell Brand
28 2008 BRIT Awards 9 February 2008 ITV
BBC Radio 1
Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters & Take That (2 awards) "Favourite Worst Nightmare" – Arctic Monkeys Take That – "Shine" Paul McCartney The Osbournes
29 2009 BRIT Awards 18 February 2009 Duffy (3 awards) "Rockferry" – Duffy Girls Aloud – "The Promise" Pet Shop Boys James Corden, Mathew Horne & Kylie Minogue
30 2010 BRIT Awards 16 February 2010 Lady Gaga (3 awards) "Lungs" – Florence and the Machine JLS – "Beat Again" Robbie Williams Peter Kay
31 2011 BRIT Awards 15 February 2011 Arcade Fire & Tinie Tempah (2 awards) "Sigh No More" – Mumford & Sons Tinie Tempah – "Pass Out" N/A James Corden The O2, London
32 2012 BRIT Awards 21 February 2012 Adele & Ed Sheeran (2 awards) "21" – Adele One Direction – "What Makes You Beautiful" Blur
33 2013 BRIT Awards 20 February 2013 Ben Howard & Emeli Sandé (2 awards) "Our Version of Events" – Emeli Sandé Adele – "Skyfall" N/A
34 2014 BRIT Awards 19 February 2014 Arctic Monkeys & One Direction (2 awards) "AM"Arctic Monkeys Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre"Waiting All Night"
35 2015 BRIT Awards 25 February 2015 Ed Sheeran & Sam Smith (2 awards) Ed Sheeran – "X" Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars"Uptown Funk" Ant & Dec
36 2016 BRIT Awards 24 February 2016 TBA TBA TBA TBA

^ these awards were to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and were for the previous 25 years of her reign.

Notable moments

Electricians' strike (1987)

In 1987 the BPI Awards ceremony was held in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel. At the time there was a BBC electricians' strike in effect, and the organisers decided to use a non-TV events production company, called Upfront, to manage the show. Despite the show being picketed, the event was transmitted as intended. For a while the outdoor broadcast scanner was rocked on its wheels by the protesters and they managed to shut off the power to one of the big GE video screen projectors. Upfront was then asked to organise the following year and persuaded the BPI to move the event to a larger venue, starting the trend that continues to this day, albeit at Earls Court, and with a different production company (MJK Productions).

Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood (1989)

In 1989, the ceremony was broadcast live and presented by The Four Tops.

Freddie Mercury's final public appearance (1990)

The 1990 awards ceremony saw the last public appearance of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.[11] Queen appeared at the ceremony to receive the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.[11][12] Mercury (who had been suffering from AIDS since 1987 but had not disclosed it to the public) did not make a speech, as Brian May did the talking on behalf of the other members, but his gaunt appearance was noticeable.[13]

The KLF (1992)

In 1992, dance/art band

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ BRITs Duo On Track To Reach Dizzee-ing Heights in UK Charts British Recorded Music Industry Retrieved 28 April 2011
  2. ^ Martin, George (with Jeremy Hornsby) (1979). All You Need Is Ears. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 185.  
  3. ^ "British Pop's Big Party". BBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2012
  4. ^ "MasterCard Renews Sponsorship of The BRIT Awards". BPI. Retrieved 23 November 2012
  5. ^ a b c d "2007 Brits to be broadcast live". BBC. Retrieved 23 November 2012
  6. ^ "The BRIT Awards 2011 with MasterCard unveils new location". BPI. Retrieved 23 November 2012
  7. ^ "The Brit Awards".  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The BRITs 1977". Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Former EMI managing director
  11. ^ a b The Highs and Lows of the Brit Awards BBC News Retrieved 28 April 2011
  12. ^ Queen, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, Brian May, BRITS 1990 BRIT Retrieved 28 April 2011
  13. ^ "Brit Awards: A dozen lesser-known moments". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  14. ^ "4. The KLF's art terrorism at the Brits 1992". NME. Archived from the original on 17 April 2006. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Pop and the art of bad behaviour". The Independent. Retrieved 4 February 2015
  16. ^ "Iconic Union Jack dress". The Sun (UK). 15 December 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Spice Girls form The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2012
  18. ^ a b Alexander, Hilary (19 May 2010). "Online poll announces the top ten most iconic dresses of the past fifty years – Telegraph". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Pop World Records, Music World Records, Record Breaking Achievements". 
  20. ^ a b "Brit Awards 2010: Three gongs for Lady Gaga, two for JLS and one at last for Lily Allen". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  21. ^ "Geri revisits Spice Girls' heyday in Union Jack dress". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  22. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra (4 March 2010). "Spice whirl casts shadow over Brit awards". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Viewers complain over Brits jokes". BBC News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  24. ^ "Reeves upset by Osbourne Brits rant". Digital Spy. 21 February 2008. 
  25. ^ "OK! Magazine: First For Celebrity News :: Latest Celebrity News :: BRITs 2012: Adele gives the finger after James Corden cuts off her acceptance speech". 21 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Blur to play for record time at Brits 2012, says James Corden". Digital Spy. 20 February 2012. 
  27. ^ Ellie (19 June 2012). "BRITs 2012: Adele wins Best Album, gets cut off mid-speech. Ouch. | 110% pop". Yahoo!. 
  28. ^ Tarley, Rachel. "Adele apologises to fans after flicking middle finger following Brits speech snub". 
  29. ^ "News – General – Adele gives the finger at BRIT Awards". 4Music. 21 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Adele Receives Apology From BRIT Awards for Acceptance-Speech Interruption The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 February 2012
  31. ^ "Oldest Brit winner David Bowie enters independence debate". BBC News. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  32. ^ "Kanye West Replaces Rihanna As 2015 BRIT Awards Performer". Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on 
  33. ^ "Kanye West's Brits performance muted constantly". ITV News. 
  34. ^ a b "Madonna 'suffered whiplash' after Brits fall" (27 February 2015). BBC. 27 February 2015. 
  35. ^ "'My beautiful cape was tied too tight': Madonna, 56, explains shocking moment she was dragged backwards down set of steps by her Armani cloak during Brits performance". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 February 2015
  36. ^ "Brit Awards 2014". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014
  37. ^ "Brit Awards: Did you know...?". BBC News. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Brit Awards – History". Retrieved 10 November 2014
  39. ^ "Sir Elton John wins first Brits Icon award". BBC News. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  40. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes".  
  • "'"BFI Film & TV Database Search results for 'Brit Awards.  
  • "Brit Awards: Did you know...?". BBC News. 16 January 2001. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 


See also

Year Air date Official ratings[40]
(in millions)
Weekly rank[40]
1999 17 February 9.86 12
2000 4 March 9.61 12
2001 27 February 8.62 18
2002 21 February 7.83 15
2003 20 February 7.64 15
2004 17 February 6.18 18
2005 10 February 6.32 17
2006 16 February 4.70 22
2007 14 February 5.43 19
2008 20 February 6.35 17
2009 18 February 5.49 17
2010 16 February 6.52 14
2011 15 February 4.79 18
2012 21 February 5.59 17
2013 20 February 5.91 14
2014 19 February 3.84 18
2015 25 February 4.72 13

Viewing figures

International acts Number of awards
U2 7
Michael Jackson 6
Prince 5
Björk 4
Foo Fighters
R.E.M. 3
Scissor Sisters
Lady Gaga
Kylie Minogue
Justin Timberlake
Kanye West
Bruno Mars
British acts Number of awards
Robbie Williams (5 with Take That) 17
Take That 8
Annie Lennox
Arctic Monkeys 7
Oasis 6
Spice Girls 5
Phil Collins
Freddie Mercury (3 with Queen; 2 posthumous)
One Direction
Elton John (1 Icon)[39]
The Beatles 4
Manic Street Preachers
Paul Weller
Ed Sheeran

There have been numerous acts, both groups and individuals, that have won multiple awards. The table below shows those that have won four or more awards.[36][37][38]

Most successful acts

Year Performers (chronologically)
1990 Lisa Stansfield, Neneh Cherry, Nigel Kennedy, Phil Collins and Soul II Soul
1991 EMF, The Beautiful South and Status Quo
1992 The KLF, Extreme Noise Terror, Lisa Stansfield, Beverley Craven and P.M. Dawn
1993 Suede, Peter Gabriel, Cirque du Soleil, Bill Wyman and Madness
1994 Björk, PJ Harvey, Bon Jovi, Brian May, Dina Carroll, Elton John, Meatloaf, Pet Shop Boys, Stereo MCs, Take That, Van Morrison and Shane McGowan
1995 Blur, East 17, Eddi Reader, Elton John, Eternal, Sting, M People, Madonna and Take That
1996 Alanis Morissette, David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Pulp, Simply Red and Take That
1997 Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Jamiroquai, The Fugees, Manic Street Preachers, Mark Morrison, Prince, Sheryl Crow, Skunk Anansie and Spice Girls
1998 All Saints, Chumbawamba, Finlay Quaye, Fleetwood Mac, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Shola Ama, Spice Girls, Texas, The Method Man and The Verve
1999 B*Witched, Billie Piper, Cleopatra, Steps, Tina Cousins, Supatroopers, Boyzone, Barry McGuigan, Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, The Corrs, David Bowie, Placebo, Eurythmics, Stevie Wonder, Manic Street Preachers, Robbie Williams and Whitney Houston
2000 Basement Jaxx, 5ive, Queen, Geri Halliwell, Macy Gray, Ricky Martin, Spice Girls, Stereophonics, Tom Jones, Travis and Will Smith
2001 Coldplay, Craig David, Destiny's Child, Eminem, Hear'Say, Robbie Williams, Sonique, Westlife and U2
2002 Anastacia, Jamiroquai, Dido, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Mis-Teeq, Shaggy, Ali G, So Solid Crew, Sting and The Strokes
2003 Ms Dynamite, Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue, Liberty X, Pink, Sugababes and Sir Tom Jones
2004 50 Cent, Beyonce, Muse, Black Eyed Peas, Busted, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliott, Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua and Duran Duran
2005 Daniel Bedingfield, Natasha Bedingfield, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day, Gwen Stefani, Jamelia, Lemar, Keane, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Scissor Sisters, Bob Geldof, Robbie Williams and The Streets
2006 Coldplay, KT Tunstall, Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Gorillaz, Jack Johnson, Paul Weller and Prince
2007 Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, Amy Winehouse, The Killers, Take That, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Corinne Bailey Rae and Oasis
2008 Mika, Beth Ditto, Rihanna, Klaxons, Kylie Minogue, Kaiser Chiefs, Leona Lewis, Mark Ronson, Adele, Daniel Merriweather, Amy Winehouse and Sir Paul McCartney
2009 U2, Girls Aloud, Coldplay, Duffy, Take That, Kings of Leon, The Ting Tings, Estelle, Pet Shop Boys, Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers
2010 Lily Allen, JLS, Kasabian, Lady Gaga, Florence + the Machine, Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Cheryl Cole and Robbie Williams
2011 Take That, Adele, Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, Plan B, Arcade Fire, Tinie Tempah, Eric Turner, Labrinth, Cee Lo Green and Paloma Faith
2012 Coldplay, Florence and the Machine, Olly Murs, Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Chris Martin, Adele, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Blur
2013 Muse, Robbie Williams, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons and Emeli Sandé
2014 Aluna Francis, Ellie Goulding, Bastille, Rudimental, Ella Eyre, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
2015 Paloma Faith and Madonna

have performed the most number of ceremonies, performing seven times. Band member Robbie Williams has performed at six ceremonies, tied for the second most number of appearances alongside Coldplay. The Pet Shop Boys, Spice Girls, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna and Adele have all performed three times.

Take That


British Female Solo Artist
British Male Solo Artist
British Breakthrough Act
British Group
BRITs Global Success
Critics' Choice
British Producer of the Year
British Single of the Year
British Album of the Year
International Male Solo Artist
International Female Solo Artist
International Group


During Madonna's performance of "Living for Love", she walked onstage wearing an oversized cape. When standing on stairs situated on the stage, the cape's cord failed to separate, so when Madonna's backing dancer pulled the cape behind her, she fell down the stairs and noticeably hit the stage hard.[34] She paused momentarily as her backing music continued, before she managed to separate herself from the cape and then continued performing.[35] In an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, Madonna blamed her fall on a wardrobe malfunction as her cape had been tied too tightly so it could not be unfastened in time, before adding: "I had a little bit of whiplash, I smacked the back of my head. And I had a man standing over me with a flashlight until about 3am to make sure I was compos mentis. I know how to fall, I have fallen off my horse many times."[34]

Madonna's fall on stage (2015)

On the date of the 2015 BRIT Awards, Kanye West was announced as a surprise performer following reports of Rihanna performing at the ceremony proved to be false.[32] He performed his new single "All Day" during the live broadcast for the very first time: large sections of the performance were muted by ITV due to explicit language, causing outrage from viewers at home who felt they couldn't enjoy the performance.[33]

Kanye West's performance of "All Day" (2015)

The influential 67-year-old musician David Bowie became the oldest winner to date of the British Male Solo Artist award and used his acceptance speech, delivered in his absence by Kate Moss, to urge Scotland to remain part of the UK in the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum. His unusual intervention in British politics prompted a significant reaction.[31]

David Bowie enters Scottish independence debate (2014)

Adele won the award for 'British Album of the Year', widely regarded as the most important award. Less than half a minute into her acceptance speech, host [30] Due to the tight schedule, only three of the five songs Blur played were broadcast on ITV.

Adele speech cut short (2012)

Adele performed her song "Someone like You" at the 2011 Brits with only a piano accompanying her. Her emotional performance was received with a standing ovation at the O2 Arena and the video received 450 million views on YouTube. The performance launched "Someone Like You" 46 spots up the UK charts to number one, and in the process, made Adele the first artist in the UK since The Beatles to have two top five singles and two top five albums at the same time. The performance had all lights down and focused Adele and her piano.

Adele's performance of "Someone like You" (2011)

British reality group, Girls Aloud, marked their first ever performance at the 2009 ceremony, by performing their single "The Promise". The performance saw the members, including Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Sarah Harding and Kimberley Walsh appear as though they were naked, with their modesty being covered by pink feathers. This performance was nominated in the 2010 ceremony for the "BRITs Hits 30 – Best Live Performance at the BRIT Awards", alongside Oasis and The Who, which the Spice Girls eventually went on to win.[20]

Girls Aloud's performance of "The Promise" (2009)

After Sharon Osbourne attempted to wrestle the microphone from him, insisted he was drunk and called him a "pissed bastard". She proceeded to make the full announcement herself. The next day it was reported that Reeves was not intoxicated and was hurt by Osbourne's behaviour.[24] The incident has since been ascribed to an autocue malfunction, but Reeves said in his defence that he was trying to read the autocue screen, but he couldn't read it because Osbourne was pushing him out of the way.

Vic Reeves and Sharon Osbourne (2008)

Some controversy was caused by the host of the 2007 Awards ceremony, comedian Russell Brand, who made several quips relating to news stories of the time including singer Robbie Williams' entering rehab for addiction to prescription drugs, the Queen's 'naughty bits' and a fatal friendly fire incident involving a British soldier killed by American armed forces in Iraq. ITV received over 300 complaint calls from viewers.[23] He would again instigate controversy the following year at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

Russell Brand (2007)

The Spice Girls were set to receive the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2000 Brit awards, reportedly to mark their dominance of the music scene in the past decade. There was much media speculation before and even during the event as to whether or not former Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell would accept the award with the four remaining members of the group.[22] On the night, however, Halliwell declined to join her former band mates and instead ensured front page coverage the following day by performing her solo number 1 single "Bag It Up" straddling a pole between a pair of giant inflatable legs.

Geri Halliwell Vs. The Spice Girls (2000)

Dance DJ Brandon Block was told by his friends that he had won an award and had been summoned to the stage to collect it. Because of his advanced state of intoxication he believed them and walked on to the stage, eventually ending up next to a bemused Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and actress Thora Birch, who were about to present the award for Best Soundtrack Album. After Block was removed from the stage by security, Wood aimed an insult in his direction. A series of insults were then traded between the two, both of which were audible through the stage microphone, causing claims that the whole event may have been staged. Wood then threw his drink into Block's face, and the DJ was ejected from the event. Some time after the incident, Block claimed that he had subsequently apologised to Wood for his behaviour, and Wood had merely brushed it off.

Ronnie Wood and Brandon Block confrontation (2000)

In 1999, indie band Belle & Sebastian were nominated for Best British Newcomers, despite having released three albums before the 1999 Awards. The award was sponsored by Radio One and voted for online by their listeners. At the time, Steps were arguably Britain's biggest boy/girl pop group and were also nominated. Despite this, the award was won by Belle & Sebastian. On the Saturday after the awards, a story appeared in the press alleging that the group had rigged the vote in their favour, encouraging students from two universities to vote online. However, fans argued that the band had a predominantly large student following, that band member Isobel Campbell had attended one of the universities in question, and in particular, the award ought to be given on artistic merit as opposed to popularity or CD sales.

Belle and Sebastian (1999)

In 1998, Danbert Nobacon of politically active band Chumbawamba threw a bucket of iced water over Labour cabinet minister John Prescott. Despite apologies on behalf of the band from EMI Europe, Chumbawamba were unrepentant, claiming "If John Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events like the Brit Awards in a vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy, then he deserves all we can throw at him."

Chumbawamba and John Prescott (1998)

In 2010, the performance in the Union Jack dress won Most Memorable Performance of 30 Years at the Brit Awards, and topped a poll of the 10 most iconic dresses of the last 50 years.[18][20] The dress has become synonymous with the Spice Girls and "girl power" and an enduring image of Cool Britannia.[21]

Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell, wore a Union Jack dress.[16][17] Spicemania was at its height in the UK and the Spice Girls had just cracked the US as well, reaching number 1 with their debut single and album. Halliwell was originally going to wear an all-black dress, but she thought it was too boring so her sister sewed on a Union Jack tea-towel, with a 'peace' sign on the back. The now iconic red, white and blue mini-dress was worn during the Spice Girls' performance of their number one song "Who Do You Think You Are".[18] In 1998 she sold her dress in a charity auction to Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas for a record £41,320, giving Halliwell the Guinness World Record for the most expensive piece of pop star clothing ever sold.[19]

Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress (1997)

1996 saw the height of a well-documented feud between Oasis and fellow Britpop band Blur. The differing styles of the bands, coupled with their prominence within the Britpop movement, led the British media to seize upon the rivalry between the bands.[15] Both factions played along, with the Gallaghers taunting Blur at the 1996 BRIT Awards by singing a rendition of "Parklife" when they collected their "Best British Band" award (with Liam changing the lyrics to "Shite-life").[15]

Oasis and Blur rivalry (1996)

In 1996, Michael Jackson was given a special Artist of a Generation award. At the ceremony he accompanied his single "Earth Song" with a stage show, culminating with Jackson as a 'Christ-like figure' surrounded by children. Jarvis Cocker, of the band Pulp, mounted the stage in what he would later claim as protest at this portion of the performance.[15] Cocker ran across the stage, lifting his shirt and pointing his (clothed) backside in Jackson's direction.[15] Cocker was subsequently questioned by the police on suspicion of causing injury towards three of the children in Jackson's performance, who were now on stage.[15]

Michael Jackson and Jarvis Cocker (1996)

in 1993. Stonehenge stating, "Ladies and gentlemen, The KLF have now left the music business," the performance indeed marking the end of the duo's musical career, releasing only several one-off performances and one live performance afterhand. Producers of the show then refused to let a motorcycle courier collect the award on behalf of the band. Later, guests arriving for an after show party witnessed the band dump a dead sheep outside the venue with the message "I died for ewe – bon appetit" tied around its waist, whilst their Brit Award was reportedly found buried in a field near Scott Piering firing blanks from a vintage machine gun over the audience and KLF publicist/announcer Bill Drummond The performance ended with [14]

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