Female artists dominated the 2021 BRITs at The O2.
With the exception of the British Single category, female artists won in all eligible categories this year.
As well as performing at the ceremony, Dua Lipa won two BRITs – Female Solo Artist and Mastercard Album for the chart-topping Future Nostalgia (Warner Records). Dua Lipa now has five BRITs, in addition to three Grammys.
Future Nostalgia has sold 363,995 copies, according to the Official Charts Company, and can now expect a significant BRITs boost after triumphing in the coveted album category.
Dua Lipa thanked her Tap Music team and execs at Warner, including label president Phil Christie, global recorded music CEO Max Lousada, Warner Records VP of radio Jane Arthy, general manager Sukhraj Johal and head of A&R, Joe Kentish.
The show was live on ITV and featured a 4,000-strong audience of key workers who weren’t required to socially distance or wear masks, as part of the government’s Events Research Programme.
Following two previous nominations, Little Mix won British Group at the third attempt this time. They also made history as the first female group to win the category.
“It’s not easy being a female in the UK music industry,” said Leigh-Anne Pinnock, as the trio dedicated their win to previously unsuccessful category contenders the Spice Girls, All Saints, Sugababes and Girls Aloud.
It’s not easy being a female in the UK music industry
Little Mix thanked RCA execs including president David Dollimore, along with Simon Forbes and A&R exec Joe Iddison, plus management at Modest including Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee. Leigh-Anne Pinnock also praised their “amazing promo team… who have been with us since day one”, including Simon Jones and Wolfie, as well as Confetti co-writers and producers Camille “Kamille” Purcell, Maegan Cottone, MNEK and TMS.
Arlo Parks, a Q1 success with her debut Collapsed In Sunbeams (Transgressive/PIAS), won for Breakthrough Artist. She was the sole independent artist to win on the night.
J Hus triumphed in the Male Solo Artist category, while Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar (Columbia) won for British Single With Mastercard. A US No.1 single, Watermelon Sugar peaked at No.4 in the UK and has 1,330,682 sales.
“I’m really proud and happy to be celebrating British music tonight,” said Harry Styles.
The Weeknd, who performed during the ceremony, won International Male Solo Artist.
The double win for Dua Lipa means that Warner Records have the most BRITs wins this year with three awards (including Rising Star winner Griff). Polydor had two wins for international acts Billie Eilish (International Female Solo Artist) and UK-signed Haim, who took the International Group category at the third attempt.
“The UK was the first place to ever embrace us in the entire world,” said Este Haim. “For that, honestly, we will be forever grateful.”
Haim’s Este Haim thanked “our Polydor family” including co-presidents Ben Mortimer and Tom March, and director of press Susie Ember, as well as Universal Music UK CEO/chairman David Joseph and Full Stop Management.
Other label winners included Black Butter, RCA, Transgressive/PIAS, Columbia, Island and EMI.
Overall, the spoils were evenly divided between the majors. Universal Music won four awards (including the Global Icon category which wasn’t voted for by the Academy), Sony Music won three and Warner Music won three.
BRITS 2021 winners
Female Solo Artist - in association with Amazon Music
Dua Lipa (Warner Records)
Male Solo Artist - in association with Amazon Music
J Hus (Black Butter)
Little Mix (RCA)
BRITs Rising Star supported by Radio 1
Winner: Griff (Warner Records)
Breakthrough Artist in association with TikTok
Arlo Parks (Transgressive/PIAS)
British Single with Mastercard (The top ten identified by chart eligible sales success then voted for by The Academy, Supported by Capital FM)
Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar (Columbia)
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (Warner Records)
International Female Solo Artist
Billie Eilish (Polydor)
International Male Solo Artist
The Weeknd (Island)
Global Icon Award
Taylor Swift (EMI)