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Highlights from this year’s BRIT Awards

Grace Wishart looks back at this year's BRIT Awards - and what 2016's night will be remembered for.
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This year’s BRITs was a rather tame affair by all accounts; no spectacular fall down a flight of stairs (precautions were taken and capes were banned this year), no one stormed the stage unannounced, and Adele didn’t have to flip everyone the finger because her speech was interrupted. But of course, there was glitz, glamour, gushing speeches and excessive pyrotechnics.

So, who were the night’s big winners?

Unsurprisingly, after her triumphant return back on the scene, Adele charmed us all and walked away with the first award of the night for best British Female Solo Artist, complete with a powerful statement of support for fellow artist Kesha in her ongoing legal battle.

James Bay took best British Male Solo Artist and set the precedent for the rest of the night: confusion over where the award recipient is meant to be looking. The audience? Which side? The camera? Which camera?! No one seems to have a clue, which provided added entertainment.

(watch from 0:56 for the awkward moment)

Next up, Australian group Tame Impala were awarded the best International Group and we got to witness another moment of clueless spinning around on the spot looking for someone to tell them what to do. Then, in a tough category competing amongst the likes of Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran, Adele made her second win of the evening with the award for best British Single, for her chart-topping and inescapable comeback single, ‘Hello’.

Fortunately, our screens were soon graced with yet more awkwardness when Coldplay snagged the award for best British Group, only to forget to mention their fellow Brit nominees Years & Years and to have Chris refer to his bandmates as every member of One Direction, forgetting that Zayn is no longer a member and leaving out poor Louis... But we forgive you this time, Chris; the Coldplay frontman then gave a heartwarming declaration of empathy and solidarity towards the current refugee situation.

Following on from Coldplay, the man of the moment and everyone’s current guilty pleasure (don’t even try to deny it - ‘Sorry’ is a banger and you know it), Justin Bieber, was awarded best International Male Solo Artist. This prize was pretty fitting for someone who has completely, successfully overhauled his sound and whose latest album was, surprisingly, met with international acclaim and genuine praise from even the harshest critics. You go, Biebs.

One of the most exciting new bands of the past year, Catfish and the Bottlemen, were named best British Breakthrough Act and, as one of the few rock bands on the popular music scene, it is refreshing to see them recognised for their genuine musicianship and perfectly crafted, witty lyricism – we are eagerly awaiting the next album, don’t let us down, boys.

The glorious Adele took to the stage once more to receive the Global Success award, presented by Tim Peake from the International Space Station which is really the only way to recognise Adele’s out-of-this-world talent (pun intended). Once again, she charmed the nation with her tearful, heartfelt speech and humour, although the TV censor guy had a mare by pre-emptively bleeping out nearly every word of her speech except the crucial ones:

A curveball was thrown in with the International Female Solo Artist going to Bjork, who recently came back on the scene after 5 years away, but the most deserved prize of the night went to the late legend, David Bowie; awarded the posthumous Brits Icon.

Finally, an ever-more emotional Adele picked up her last award of the night for best British Album of the Year for her fabulous comeback work, ’25’. The night was wrapped up by the superstar herself, with a spectacular rendition of her most recent single, ‘When We Were Young’ – leaving not a dry eye in the house.

So, these things happened...

Justin Bieber and James Bay collaborated for a stripped down version of ‘Love Yourself’, which Justin followed with an epic performance of his 2015 hit ‘Sorry’, complete with backing dancers and lots of over-the-top special effects.

Viewers were wowed by Lorde’s humble tribute to David Bowie, accompanied by his 2004 Touring Band to add an even more personal touch.

Rihanna twerked on Drake a lot. And I mean a lot.

Jess Glynne’s hair was inexplicably and unnecessarily large. Looks like someone's been getting style tips.

The Weeknd’s hair was as ridiculous as ever.

Years & Years’ Olly Alexander provided a constant stream of overexcited, fangirling tweets, including:

All in all, a great night.

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