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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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King Ben and Queen Emeli rule the Brit waves on a memorable night (shame about the host)

The season of prize giving continued in full swing at The 02 Arena on Wednesday night with the 33rd BRIT Awards.

John Hastings photo
John Hastings

First held in 1977 as the British Rock & Pop Awards – and a yearly fixture since 1982 – The Brits have had their ups and downs but are now firmly established as one of the most prestigious events in the music industry’s calendar.

James Corden was anchoring his fourth successive Brit Awards and his lacklustre performance must surely make it his last, as most of his jokes were so flat that not even the tumbleweed could be bothered to breeze by. If the organisers have any common sense, they should bring back Peter Kay for 2014.

One wonders what Harry Styles was thinking about when his ex, Taylor Swift, appeared in a stunning black number and then later in alluring lingerie during her rendition of “Trouble” (for what it’s worth, I’ll give it at least six months before they get it on again – just you wait and see).

Moving on to the awards - the divine Emeli Sande topped and tailed proceedings by crowning an unforgettable 12 months as she scooped the double of British Female and the flagship Album Of The Year for the superlative "Our Version Of Events”, while the inimitable Mumford & Sons followed up last week's Grammy by picking up Best British Group and they can count themselves very unlucky to pipped by Coldplay for Best Live Act,

I have to admit that, until recently, I'd never heard of Ben Howard - but the man from Devon sure got the cream by not only beating odds on favourite Jake Bugg to claim British Breakthrough but also pulling off the shock of the evening as he was crowned British Male. He was genuinely overwhelmed on both occasions and one had to smile at his admission that he was bad at making speeches - he'd better get used to making good ones, because with his boyish charm and a voice possessing the smoothness of Tracy Chapman and the warmth of Ed Sheeran, he can go on to become a global star.

Tom Odell made history by becoming the first male artist to win the Critic’s Choice Award and having heard samples of his work, I would not bet against him bagging a Best British Male nomination this time next year.

Adele nabbed another deserved award for the sublime “Skyfall” and her wish not to interrupt the best album speech at the end of the night – a reference to being infamously cut off herself last year – proves that she has a sense of humour (rare among her contemporaries).

There were a hat trick of surprises in the “International” categories – credit to Frank Ocean for holding off Gotye for Best Male and to Lana Del Rey for winning Best Female ahead of Taylor Swift AND Rihanna, while The Black Keys followed up their Grammy haul with Best Group at the expense of hot favourites The Fun.

One Direction were worthy winners of Best Global Success – when they were voted off The X Factor on 12 December 2010, I thought that the next stop would be a one hit wonder followed by the dole queue...three years later, I’ll own up to being slightly off target with my forecast.

Finally, credit must go to the War Child charity on winning the inaugural Special Recognition award for their magnificent work over the last 20 years – 800,000 lives saved and the support by many British artists is nothing short of admirable.

Overall, this year’s Brit Awards offered unquestionable proof that the Great British music industry is not just alive and well but thriving on the crest of a rising wave.

Keep it up, Ladies and Gentlemen - you’re doing GREAT…and then some.

By John Hastings
Published: February 21, 2013

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Your paragraph about Taylor Swift is completely pointless. It was James Corden's 3rd year hosting, not fourth. "The Fun" is not the band's name, the name is just "Fun". Also, worth noting that the Global Success category was invented specifically to give One Direction an award.

Posted by Anon on 25 February 2013 at 04:12

John, if you think James Corden was bad, you've never seen Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox botch up the awards in 1989.

Posted by Glenn A on 23 February 2013 at 17:36

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