Just as important as who won at the BRITs is who got a namecheck on stage.
If you make Buckfast-fueled acceptance speeches like Lewis Capaldi, obviously you’re not going to be doing the traditional thank yous. But several artists did come up with industry shout-outs on the night.
Here, Music Week rounds up those head-swelling namechecks at the awards ceremony…
Mastercard British Album Of The Year – Dave – Psychodrama
After exchanging hugs with his mum, co-managers Benny Scarrs and Jack Foster and producer Fraser T Smith, Dave strode on stage to thank his “entire team”, saying, “It’s an honour to receive this award for you guys”. He shouted out “legends in the building” Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer before paying tribute to “everyone that comes from the place I come from, my young kings and queens chasing their dreams” and “everyone I know who’s inside doing their time”. Dave’s message was a powerful one: “I’m no different from you, I’m just a guy, I swear, and everything I’m saying is a fact. You can do anything you put your mind to.”
Male Solo Artist – Stormzy
Scooping this award for the second time, Stormzy paid tribute to team #Merky, namechecking his manager Tobe Onwuka, DJ Tiiny, Atlantic’s Alec Boateng, Jermaine Agyako, Flipz, Rimes (aka Adrian Thomas), and videographer Kaylum. “To be the best male, I’ve got the most incredible females in my team,” the rapper said, before praising the work of publicist Rachel Campbell, Atlantic’s Jacqueline Eyewe, branding exec Akua Agyemfra, Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe and Merky’s Ayesha Lorde Dunn. “The best male is nothing without these incredible females,” he said.
Female Solo Artist – Mabel
Mabel seemed genuinely delighted to have won this award, and much of her acceptance speech was about her mother, Neneh Cherry. The pair were united as a BRITs-pop family on the red carpet, and Mabel pointed out that it was 30 years ago to the day that her mother performed at the ceremony and won two awards. As well as describing her “crazy journey” and thanking her fans, Mabel also singled out manager Radha Medar and Polydor execs, including co-presidents Ben Mortimer and Tom March, plus head of marketing Stephen Hallowes. “I want to thank my amazing manager, Radha, you really believed in me before I believed in myself,” said Mabel. “And, of course, my record label – Ben, Tom, Stephen, everybody else on the team that works tirelessly to make all of these things a reality, I love you.”
Rising Star – Celeste
It was a good night for Polydor in terms of televised recognition – Celeste also remembered the label team, as well as her management at Atlas Artists. “I just want to thank my family, who are sitting over there. I want to thank my manager Duncan Ellis, Ben Smallwood, Tom Cater. And everyone at my label at Polydor, thank you so much for understanding everything I wanted to do this year."
International Male Solo Artist – Tyler, The Creator
The Odd Future leader seemed surprised to have won and struggled to get his words out at first. But he soon remembered to acknowledge the execs, if not by name. “Shout out to Sony and Columbia for always having my back, thank you,” said the US rapper. He went on to make a dig at bête noir Theresa May, who banned him from entering the UK five years ago when she was Home Secretary.
International Female Solo Artist – Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish first thanked “Sporty” (Mel C), who handed her the award. She went on to namecheck Polydor, US labels Interscope and Darkroom, plus her collaborator brother Finneas O’Connell.
Best Group – Foals
Described as “Oxford rockers” by the BRITs announcer, the band picked up their BRIT just a few months after securing their first No.1 album. “Wow, we didn’t see that coming,” said frontman Yannis Philippakis. Fortunately, he was composed enough to remember to thank most of the right people, including Warner Records. “We’d like to thank our label, who have just stuck by us the whole way through and given us total artistic freedom,” say the Foals singer. “You guys have just trusted us every step of the way and we’re allowed to do exactly what we want to do, and that’s the way it should be. We appreciate that so much. And our manager, Peter Mensch, and all of Q Prime from being with us since the days when we toured around the country in a little Royal Mail van, which my Dad lent us the money for.”