Photo: Ron Elkman / USA Today Network

Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar & Justin Timberlake Highlight Brit Awards

February 22, 2018

By Hayden Wright

Yesterday’s Brit Awards celebrated the year’s biggest hits and hitmakers across the Pond, and featured dynamic live performances by Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar.

Pop singer Dua Lipa and grime artist Stormzy walked away with two prizes each: She took home awards for British Breakthrough Artist and British Female Solo Artist, while he netted the British Male Artist award and the coveted Best Album trophy for Gang Signs & Prayer.

“Gang Signs & Prayer was the hardest thing. I’ve never worked on something like this in my life,” Stormzy said. “I’ve [gave] my entire being; my entire emotion. Everything I put into that album. I didn’t have anything left after. We made something that I feel is undeniable [and] I can stand by it today,” (via Billboard).

In her acceptance speech, Lipa paid tribute to women who paved the way: “[Thanks to] every single female that’s been on this stage before me that has given girls like me — not just in the music industry, but in society — something to look up to and allowed us to dream this big,” she said. “Here’s to more women on these stages, more women winning these awards and more women taking over the world.”

Sheeran performed “Supermarket Flowers” from his nominated album Divide while Kendrick brought his high-concept sensibility to a live rendition of “FEEL.” His set began on top of a glass storage unit containing an orange luxury Lamborghini and during the song, Rich the Kid trashed the vehicle with a bat. Timberlake, fresh off his Super Bowl halftime show performance, turned in a medley of “Midnight Summer Jam” and “Say Something.”

Current events had a prime position in the night’s message and mood. Attendees wore white and carried roses to show solidarity with the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault, while Take That singer Gary Barlow paid tributes to lives lost at the Manchester terror attack. He praised Ariana Grande’s subsequent One Love tribute concert as “an event that epitomized the human spirit. An event that showed that hate will never win, and fear will never divide us.”

Here’s a full list of winners from the Brit Awards:

British Female Solo Artist – Dua Lipa
British Male Solo Artist –  Stormzy
International Group – Foo Fighters
British Single – Rag‘n’Bone Man ‘Human’
International Male Solo Artist – Kendrick Lamar
British Breakthrough Act – Dua Lipa
International Female Solo Artist – Lorde
British Group – Gorillaz
Brits Global Success Award – Ed Sheeran
British Artist Video Award – Little Mix ‘Touch’
Mastercard British Album of The Year – Stormzy Gang Signs & Prayer
Critics’ Choice (previously announced) – Jorja Smith
Producer of the Year (previously announced) – Steve Mac