By Raul Bobe
London, May 11 (EFE).- Dua Lipa on Tuesday emerged as the big winner at the gala BRIT Awards ceremony, adding the best British female solo artist and best album prizes – for “Future Nostalgia” – to her professionals credits.
The British singer-songwriter of Albanian-Kosovar descent was the key figure at the awards ceremony broadcast live, the first such event held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and with 4,000 people in the live audience, many of them “essential workers” who had received free tickets to the event.
Coldplay opened the evening with a memorable performance from a platform on the River Thames before London’s O2 Arena, and with colorful fireworks and holograms presented their new single “Higher Power.”
Dua Lipa took the baton outfitted in the Union Jack, the British flag, as she gave a “glam” simulation of traveling on the London metro – known as The Underground – and performing several of her most popular hits, including “Hallucinate,” “Don’t Start Now” and “Physical.”
Women were the big stars of the night and took home the majority of the awards, with four of the five nominess in the most important Best Album category being females.
Dua Lipa, who was presented with two of the three awards for which she had been nominated, used her acceptance remarks to emphasize the role of women in industry, as well as among the frontline workers during the pandemic.
She said that it was all very well to applaud the frontline workers but they also had to be paid appropriately, and – to substantial applause from the audience – she asked everyone to send a message to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for a fair pay raise for such workers.
This was the year in which, after 41 editions of the BRIT Awards, the Global Icon prize finally went to a woman – Taylor Swift – the only artist who in less than a year has managed to get three of her albums to No. 1 on the UK sales charts and the first non-Briton to be handed that award.
“I want to thank my friends and family who know exactly who they are,” Swift said after receiving the prize, adding “Whose opinion of me never changed whether my stock was up or down. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that you have to look around every day and take note of the people who have always believed in you and never stop appreciating them for it.”
Meanwhile, Little Mix was named the best British group and also made history by being the first female band to win that award at the BRITs.
The trio – two of whom are pregnant – said in their acceptance remarks that “It’s not easy being a female in the UK pop industry. We’ve seen the white male dominance, misogyny, sexism and lack of diversity.”
In the international area, the Haim brothers from the United States won the award for best group and Billie Eilish took the trophy for best female artist, while The Weeknd received from the hand of former US first lady Michelle Obama the BRIT for best male artist.
The O2 Arena gala featured, for the fourth year in a row, the incisive humor of British comic Jake Whitehall, as well as performances by Griff – who won the best rising star award – and pop singer Olivia Rodrigo, who made her debut in Britain by performing her already well-known hit “Drivers License.”
One of the most memorable moments of the evening was Elton John’s performance of the Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin.”
Harry Styles won the BRIT for best British single for “Watermelon Sugar.
Also performing at the gala were Rag N’ Bone and Pink, along with a gospel choir, who were the crowning jewel of the night.