Image: Brit’sh singer and songwriter Adele accepts the award for best Brit’sh female solo artist at the BRIT Awards at the O2 arena in London, Britain February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
By Jemima Kelly
LONDON (Reuters) – Brit’sh singer Adele stole the show on Wednesday evening at the 2016 BRIT Awards in London, making a triumphant return to the star-studded ceremony as she picked up four trophies, including the coveted “album of the year” award.
The BRIT Awards, held in London’s O2 arena, are the mainstream Brit’sh music industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony, having been held every year since 1982. On the bill at this year’s bash were international stars Rihanna and Justin Bieber, as well as home-grown artists James Bay and Coldplay.
Adele’s “25” album missed out on a Grammy nomination because its November release date made it ineligible for this year’s awards, so the BRITs gave the Brit’sh songtress her first major award show recognition for her third studio album, which became the best-selling album of 2015.
“To come back after so long away and be so warmly received is really lovely – thank you so much,” said Adele, dressed in a floor-length red gown, as she picked up her first award of the night for best Brit’sh female. Her previous album, “21”, was released four years earlier.
The London-born singer also scooped awards for best Brit’sh female, best Brit’sh single, and the “BRITs Global Success” award. She was the only artist or group to receive more than one award at the ceremony.
After a shaky and out-of-key performance at the Grammys earlier in the month, after which Adele said she cried all day, she closed the show with an accomplished rendition of “When We Were Young”, a song from
“25”, having changed into a star-spangled glittery gown before her performance.
Adele also said she wanted to “publicly support” American pop star Kesha, who claims that her former music producer, “Dr. Luke”, raped and emotionally manipulated her. A judge ruled last week that Kesha could not be released from her six-album recording contract with Sony Music.
The late Brit’sh rock star David Bowie, who died last month, was paid an emotional tribute by Scottish singer Annie Lennox, who called Bowie a “quintessential visionary” who would be “loved and revered for as long as the earth still spins”.
Bowie’s friend, Brit’sh actor Gary Oldman, picked up a posthumous “BRIT Icon” award for the singer, while New Zealand’s Lorde performed Bowie’s hit’song “Life on Mars”.
The ceremony, which mainly recognises Brit’sh music, also saw international awards handed out to Justin Bieber, Tame Impala and Bjork.
The awards have come under fire for not representing non-white artists, just as the Oscars ceremony has. Black Brit’sh singer Laura Mvula said she would not attend the ceremony, citing the lack of diversity.
Barbados-born Rihanna marked her first performance on Brit’sh soil since 2012 with a raunchy performance of “Work”, her new song with Drake, which featured a surprise appearance from the Canadian rapper.
There were also performances on the night by Britain’s James Bay, who was awarded best Brit’sh male, and Justin Bieber, who was awarded best international male. Bieber performed an acoustic version of his song “Love Yourself” with James Bay before running onto the main stage behind a ring of fire to perform his hit “Sorry” with a troupe of backing dancers.
Brit’sh group Coldplay had kicked off proceedings with their song “Hymn for the Weekend”, and also picked up the award for best Brit’sh group.
(Reporting By Jemima Kelly)
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