United Kingdom

BRIT Awards 2021: Dua Lipa and Coldplay lead star-studded ceremony at London's O2 Arena

The 2021 BRIT Awards kicked off in spectacular fashion on Tuesday night, with Jack Whitehall taking to the stage to mark the return of live music after weeks in lockdown.

The ceremony, taking place at London's O2 Arena, kicked off with stellar performances from Coldplay and Dua Lipa in front of a crowd of key workers who have spent months saving lives at the Covid pandemic. 

Dua certainly delighted the crowd of 4,000 guests with an energetic medley of hits that began on the London Underground before launching into a stellar dance routine on the stage.

Back on stage at last! The 2021 BRIT Awards kicked off in spectacular fashion on Tuesday night, with Jack Whitehall taking to the stage to mark the return of live music after weeks in lockdown

Ahead of Coldplay's opening performance, host Jack received a grilling from the Line Of Duty duo Vicky McClure and Martin Compston about who would be kicking off the ceremony.

But despite channelling their AC-12 alter-agos, the funnyman failed to spill the beans, meaning the pair had to call in reinforcements - Handforth Parish Council's Jackie Weaver. 

Despite Jack's insistence she 'didn't have the authority,' Jackie furiously terminated their video chat, before beginning the live awards show. 

Coldplay then kicked off the show with an incredible pre-recorded performance on the River Thames.

The band, fronted by lead singer Chris Martin, 44, performed their new single Higher Power from a barge in front of the O2 ahead of the live event, presented by Jack Whitehall.

Tell us! Ahead of Coldplay's opening performance, Jack received a grilling from the Line Of Duty duo Vicky McClure and Martin Compston about who would be kicking off the ceremony

Going on all out for the opening act, Coldplay opted for futuristic dancing holograms and sparkling fireworks for the showcase, which was filmed outside the O2 last month.

The performance included the use of jaw-dropping holograms, adding to the sci-fi theme after the band unveiled their new single last week by streaming it on board the Internation Space Station.

The 2021 Brit Awards marked the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses released 2,500 free tickets to key workers. 

The Brit Awards took place in front of a live audience of 4,000 people at London's The O2 six days before the next phase of lockdown lifts. 

The ceremony broadcast live on ITV, celebrated the return to live music and nominee Dua Lipa promised those attending that it would 'be a night to remember'.  

The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government's scientific Events Research Programme, and will use enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21. 

How are the BRIT Awards going ahead during the Covid pandemic? 

The 2021 BRIT Awards mark the first live music event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The indoor ceremony and live show will form part of the Government's scientific Events Research Programme.

Enhanced testing approaches will examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.  

4,000 tickets were made available for the live ceremony, just one fifth of the venue's 20,000 capacity, with 2,500 of those being given to key workers. 

The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year's restrictions. 

Audience members will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated inside the arena, though they will be required in communal areas such as the toilet or main concourse.

All attendees will be allowed to purchase alcohol and concessions once inside the O2 Arena.

Attendees will also be required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and said test must be taken at an asymptomatic testing site within 36 hours of the ceremony.

Upon arrival at the venue, all attendess will be asked to take a PCR test, and will then take another test five days after the ceremony 

It's hoped this will gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, this means The BRITs, was the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, with 4,000 tickets being up for grabs- just one fifth of the venue's 20,000 capacity. 

The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year's restrictions. 

Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the arena, but were required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees had to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue. 

As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, attendees were also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. 

The show awarded Taylor Swift - who made history as the first ever female to be given BRITs Global Icon Award at the ceremony. 

The 11-time Grammy Award winner, 31, joined former winners Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie in being given the award in recognition of her impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date. 

In numbers provided by Official Charts Company, Taylor is the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date in 2021 and has sold over 114m albums worldwide with total global audio + video streams reaching 78b. 

Taylor is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums - Speak Now, RED, 1989 and reputation - sell over one million copies in their week of release.   

She is also the only artist to have nine albums each sell at least half a million copies in a single week, with Fearless, Speak Now, RED, 1989, reputation, Lover, folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

Taylor was also nominated for a second BRIT award this year for International Female Solo Artist, her sixth BRIT nomination to date.  

The Icon gong is the highest accolade given and is reserved for truly exceptional artists - following on from Elton, Robbie and David. 

Nominations were unveiled in March, with Celeste, Dua Lipa, Joel Corry and Young T & Bugsey joining Arlo Parks in receiving three nominations each, and Jessie Ware, J Hus, Bicep, AJ Tracey up for two awards as with Headie One. 

BRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS 2021

FEMALE SOLO ARTIST 

ARLO PARKS

CELESTE 

DUA LIPA 

JESSIE WARE 

 LIANNE LA HAVAS

MALE SOLO ARTIST 

AJ TRACEY

HEADIE ONE 

J HUS 

JOEL CORRY 

YUNGBLUD

BRITISH GROUP 

BICEP

BIFFY CLYRO 

LITTLE MIX 

THE 1975 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY

BRITs RISING STAR 

GRIFF WARNER - WINNER

PA SALIEU

RINA SAWAYAMA 

MASTERCARD ALBUM 

ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS 

CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE 

DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA 

J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY

JESSIE WARE WHAT'S YOUR PLEASURE? 

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

BTS 

D.C. PARTISAN 

FOO FIGHTERS 

HAIM POLYDOR,

RUN THE JEWELS

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST 

ARLO PARKS - WINNER

BICEP 

CELESTE 

JOEL CORRY 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY

BRITISH SINGLE

220 KID & GRACEY DON'T NEED LOVE

AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN 

DUA LIPA PHYSICAL

HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR 

HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN'T IT DIFFERENT 

JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART

NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER

REGARD & RAYE SECRETS 

S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON'T RUSH

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST 

ARIANA GRANDE

BILLIE EILISH 

CARDI B

MILEY CYRUS 

TAYLOR SWIFT 

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN  

BURNA BOY 

CHILDISH GAMBINO 

TAME IMPALA FICTION

THE WEEKND

GLOBAL ICON

Taylor Swift 

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