So what happened at The BRITS 2020?

As the end of award season is in sight, The Brits took centre stage in London on 18 February. So what exactly happens when you put the whole of the British music industry in a room to celebrate the best of British music?

So what happened at The BRITS 2020?

Despite drawing criticism from the public over a severe lack of female nominations, a common trend this awards season, the buzz amongst the room was electric. With the room packed to the brim with fans and industry professionals alike, the night began with a blast as Mabel took to the stage. Complete with all the high energy dancing you could want for a show opener, there’s no doubt that ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ packed a punch. Even if lip syncing appeared to be on the line throughout. 

Then onto what could only be described as the briefest acceptance speech ever from Lewis Capaldi, taking home ‘Best New Artist’. While many fans lost it when his best mate and ex-One Direction star Niall Horan handed over the award, his actual speech was muted.

“Thank you very f***ing much. I’ll see you later.” - Lewis Capaldi

Quickly followed by the velvet smooth vocals of Harry Styles singing ‘Falling’ in a grecian swimming pool along with a waterfall piano. Despite being known for his eccentric style and high energy shows, it was a true delight to see a stripped back performance from him that was tear jerking for all the right reasons. 

Last year's Brits fell under heavy criticism for being overwhelmingly white. This is something that the committee has clearly tried to combat with nominations that truly reflect the rising cultural importance rap and grime have in the UK. This intention can be seen with my standout moment from the entire night – grime artist Dave’s performance of ‘Black’. 

Some people argue that award shows shouldn’t be political. They’re wrong. The song perfectly encapsulates the raging inequality in our country and the systematic racism that exists in our political and cultural atmosphere. It takes a lot to completely silence an entire arena of people but Dave did so with ease. The only other person to do so was Billie Eilish with her live debut of Bond song ‘No Time To Die’. 

Accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s expert orchestra, the performance was full of class and was a true testament to the metaphorical rise to fame that 18-year-old Billie Eilish has seen this year. But fame is never easy to handle, much less for a girl growing up in the public eye, and whom, while fighting to keep her tears at bay as she accepted her award for ‘Best International Female’, admitted that the tidal wave of hate sent her way after the Grammy’s had affected her much more than anyone knew.

By this point, the night always tends to veer on the edge of chaotic as host Jack Whitehall interviews the wealth of celebrities at the event who’ve made a good dent into the free alcohol. The energetic flirting between Lizzo, Harry Styles and Jack Whitehall was almost inevitable. 

Whilst accepting another award, this time for ‘Best Song’, Lewis Capaldi and his Buckfast Wine shut down rumours about ‘Someone You Loved’ was inspired by his ex “who you can all see every night on Love Island,” and was in fact about his Grandma. This was followed by him thanking her for dying and his parents for ‘making love’ so he could write the best song. 

Then as the night drew to a close with a performance from Stormzy that was so outstanding it had every middle-aged white man on their feet in a standing ovation at the end. If that’s not a testament to Stormzy’s artistry and energy then I quite frankly don’t know what else is. 

So as Rod Stewart sang his last note the entire room dispersed to afterparties, boat parties or their own homes, the door closed on yet another successful year for British music in 2019, and a celebration of the last 40 years the awards have been going.

A full list of nominees and winners is below: 

Male Solo Artist 

  • Dave

  • Harry Styles 

  • Lewis Capaldi 

  • Michael Kiwanuka 

  • Stormzy 

Winner: Stormzy

Female Solo Artist

  • Charlie XCX

  • FKA Twigs

  • Freya Ridings

  • Mabel 

  • Mahalia

Winner: Mabel

Best Group 

  • Bastille 

  • Bring Me The Horizon

  • Coldplay

  • D-Block Europe

  • Foals 

Winner: Foals

Best Song

  • AJ Tracy ‘Ladbroke Grove’

  • Calvin Harris/Rag N Bone Man ‘Giant’

  • Dave ft Burna Boy ‘I Don’t Care’

  • Lewis Capaldi ‘Someone You Loved’ 

  • Mabel ‘Don’t Call Me Up’

  • Mark Rohnson ft Miley Cyrus ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’

  • Sam Smith ft Normani ‘Dancing With A Stranger’

  • Stormzy ‘Vossi Bop’ 

  • Tom Walker ‘Just You and I’

Winner: Lewis Capaldi ‘Someone You Loved’ 

Album of The Year 

  • Dave ‘Psycodrama’

  • Harry Styles ‘Fine Line’ 

  • Lewis Capaldi ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ 

  • Michael Kiwanuka ‘Kiwanuka’

  • Stormzy ‘Heavy Is The Head’ 

Winner: Dave ‘Psycodrama’

Best New Artist 

  • Aitch 

  • Dave

  • Lewis Capaldi 

  • Mabel

  • Sam Fender

Winner: Lewis Capaldi 

Best International Female

  • Ariana Grande

  • Camilla Cabello 

  • Billie Eilish 

  • Lana Del Rey

  • Lizzo 

Winner: Billie Eilish 

Best International Male

  • Bruce Springsteen

  • Burna Boy 

  • Dermot Kennedy 

  • Post Malone

  • Tyler The Creator 

Winner: Tyler The Creator


Sophie McCarthy

Sophie McCarthy Contributor

I'm a freelance photography working primarily within music and I write a lot of the music stuff on here, including the 'monthly music news' blogs so look out for those! I'm based in London and currently intern at an artist and tour management company with offices in Metropolis Studios and love writing for Voice whenever I can...

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