The BRIT Awards returned last night at the O2 Arena, London, with a few notable changes to proceedings. Firstly, Jack Whitehall handed over the reins to one of the biggest names in UK comedy, Mo Gilligan, who presented alongside Maya Jama. It was also the first year that awards were not based on gender, with the newly titled ‘Artist of the Year’ heading up a whole host of new and revived categories.
The fresh format saw more of a focus on genres, with best ‘Alternative/Rock Act’, ‘Dance Act’, ‘Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act’ and ‘Pop/R&B Act’. Heading into the 2022 ceremony, it was Adele, Little Simz, Ed Sheeran and Dave with the most nominations, racking up an impressive four each. Sam Fender was close behind on three nominations, including ‘Artist of the Year’, ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Alternative/Rock Act’.
And it was the North Shields artist who took home ‘Best Alternative/Rock Act’, picking up the gong with his full band on stage, including Johnny Blue Hat and his synonymous Toon-inspired outfit. Sam forgot his speech but thanked the fans, as it was a fan-voted category, as well as his manager. It looks like Sam’s local pub has a new beer pump!
Adele was the big winner on the night, picking up a total of three awards for ‘Artist of the Year’, ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ for ‘Easy On Me’. Dua Lipa picked up ‘Best Pop/R&B Act’ and Dave, who closed the show with an impressive performance joined by special guests, won ‘Best Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act’. Ed Sheeran was awarded ‘Songwriter of the Year’, Little Simz won ‘Best New Artist’ and Silk Sonic, a supergroup comprising Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, claimed ‘International Group of the Year’.
Glastonbury 2022 headliner, Billie Eilish took home the ‘International Artist of the Year’ award, with one of the fastest rising names in pop collecting the gong for ‘Best International Song’, in the shape of Olivia Rodrigo with ‘Good 4 U’. Becky Hill, who will feature at Neighbourhood Weekender this year, was awarded ‘Best Dance Act’.
The BRITS are often dominated by pop artists, but there were a few wins for guitar music last night. As well as Sam Fender‘s victory, we already knew of Holly Humberstone‘s recognition at the 2022 awards, with Fender himself surprising the singer-songwriter with the coveted ‘BRITS Rising Star’ accolade. Previoiusly known as the ‘Critic’s Choice Award’, Holly finds herself in good company, with previous winners including Adele, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith and James Bay along with, yes you guessed it, Sam Fender!
In 2021, Little Mix won the BRIT Award for best ‘British Group’, becoming the first female band to do so. This year, it was a big win for Wolf Alice, who deservedly took home one of the ceremony’s biggest honours following their widely acclaimed third album, ‘Blue Weekend’. They beat off strong competition from the likes of Coldplay, London Grammar and Little Mix to claim the crown.
And of course it wouldn’t be the BRITS without something going wrong. Popstar, Anne-Marie was the unfortunate artist to take a tumble down some steps during her live performance – she managed to recover like a true professional though! Other performances included the unexpected collaboration between Ed Sheeran and Bring Me The Horizon, Little Simz, Holly Humberstone and Sam Fender, as well as Oasis icon, Liam Gallagher, who performed his latest single, ‘Everything’s Electric’.
So there we have it for another year. We expect to see the likes of Arctic Monkeys battling out for the awards in 2023, so roll on another year of strong music!
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