Brit Awards 2021: Adam Lambert and Years & Years' Olly Alexander wear flamboyant suits on red carpet

Entertainment

Daily Mail 11 May, 2021 - 06:09pm 18 views

Who is Olly Alexander?

Oliver Alexander Thornton (born 15 July 1990) is a British musician, singer-songwriter, actor, and LGBTQ advocate. His music is released under the name Years & Years. wikipedia.orgOlly Alexander

What are the Brit Awards?

The BRIT Awards (often simply called the BRITs) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual popular music awards. ... In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic BRIT Awards, is held in May. wikipedia.orgWikipedia — Brit Awards

By Lydia Spencer-elliott For Mailonline

Adam Lambert turned heads at the Brit Awards on Tuesday night as he smouldered in a leopard print suit. 

The American Idol star, 39, took to the red carpet in the animal print ensemble and accessorised with a pair of snakeskin style gloves. 

Joined by a whole host of famous pals, Adam took the chance to catch up with the Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, 30, before entering the event. 

Striking: Adam Lambert turned heads at the Brit Awards on Tuesday night as he smouldered in a leopard print suit

Olly looked upbeat ahead of his live performance at the ceremony as he threw out a peace sign at onlookers. 

The Desire singer donned a statement black and white star-print suit with fluffy-cuffed sleeves and completed the look with a pair of matching studded brogues. 

Meanwhile, going full glam for the occasion, Adam sported his signature ombre quiff hairstyle and an incredible smokey eye makeup look.   

Adding some glitz to his fashion-forward ensemble, the hitmaker donned a selection of chain necklaces under his suit jacket, to which he'd pinned a large flower.  

Pals: Adam took the chance to catch up with the Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, who donned a statement star-print suit with fluffy-cuffed sleeves, before entering the event

In an explosion of colour and optimism, the 2021 Brit Awards celebrated the achievements of British and international artists over the last 18 months.

The awards ceremony truly belonged to Dua Lipa, 25, as the evening saw her scoop the accolade for Female Solo Artist and the Mastercard British Album of the Year Award for her lockdown hit Future Nostalgia.

This year's Rising Star award winner Griff was handed the baton for the honour by 2020's Rising Star winner Celeste, who herself was up for three further awards this year. 

Smouldering: Going full glam for the occasion, Adam sported his signature ombre quiff hairstyle and an incredible smokey eye makeup look 

And Arlo Parks was crowned Breakthrough Artist, one of the three awards she was nominated for, after what has been an incredible year for the young London artist.

She also made her debut BRITs performance with an elegant rendition of ‘Hope’ and decorated the set as a sunflower field in a nod to the name of her debut album.

The most nominated girl band in Brit Award history, Little Mix finally bagged the title of British Group, having been up for the award three previous times.

Meanwhile, the International Group category followed a similar suit, with the California’s girl band HAIM in attendance to accept their award.

And the accolade for International Female was given to the 19-year-old Bad Guy hitmaker Billie Eilish, who accepted the award via a pre-recorded video acceptance speech.

The Weeknd emerged victorious in the International Male Solo Artist category with his award presented by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

The Blinding Lights hitmaker treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his US No. 1 single ‘Save Your Tears’, pre-recorded from the US.

Turning heads: The American Idol star took to the red carpet in the animal print ensemble and accessorised with a pair of snakeskin style gloves

On home ground, Dem Boy Paigon hitmaker JHUS scooped the Male Solo Artist award, which was accepted on his behalf by DJ Semtex in his absence.

Following a successful awards season stateside, the One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles scooped the Brit for British Single with his summertime anthem Watermelon Sugar.

The first female artist to win the highest BRITs accolade and the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date, Taylor Swift appeared in person to accept the special Global Icon award, which was presented by Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.

Each winner was presented with the Brit's first ever collaborative double-trophy, designed by Es Devlin OBE and Yinka Ilori MBE, with each recipient encouraged to re-gift the smaller trophy to someone else.

The 2021 BRIT Awards marked the first live music event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government's scientific Events Research Programme.

Enhanced testing approaches will examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.  

4,000 tickets were made available for the live ceremony, just one fifth of the venue's 20,000 capacity, with 2,500 of those being given to key workers. 

The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year's restrictions. 

Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated inside the arena, though they were required in communal areas such as the toilet or main concourse.

All attendees were allowed to purchase alcohol and concessions once inside the O2 Arena.

Attendees were also required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees had to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and said test had to be taken at an asymptomatic testing site within 36 hours of the ceremony.

Upon arrival at the venue, all attendess were asked to take a PCR test, and will then take another test five days after the ceremony 

It's hoped this will gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

The ceremony, hosted by Jack Whitehall and broadcasted on ITV, was a celebration of the return to live music.

The show saw a total of 11 awards handed out alongside nine unbeatable show-stopping performances, six of which were able to be staged live in stadium.

The event took place in front of a live audience of 4,000 people at London's The O2 six days before the next phase of lockdown lifts.

Of the small audience, 2,500 attendees were made up of key workers and their guests whose tickets were donated by the BRITs via a ballot. 

Details: Adding some glitz to his fashion-forward ensemble, the hitmaker donned a selection of chain necklaces under his suit jacket, to which he'd pinned a large flower

Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, The BRITs, as the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, played an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions.

Audience members were not required to be socially distanced or wear face coverings in the arena, but were required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Attendees had to show proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and as part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, all attendees were asked to take a test post-event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

They also were asked to provide contact details for NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced in the event of an audience member receiving a positive test after the event.

Best foot forward: Adam boosted his height with a pair of shiny black leather heeled boots as he strutted onto the red carpet at the A-list event 

ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS 

CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE 

J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY

JESSIE WARE WHAT'S YOUR PLEASURE? 

220 KID & GRACEY DON'T NEED LOVE

AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN 

DUA LIPA PHYSICAL

HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN'T IT DIFFERENT 

JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART

NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER

REGARD & RAYE SECRETS 

S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON'T RUSH

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Brit awards 2021: every performance reviewed, from Coldplay to Arlo Parks

The Guardian 11 May, 2021 - 05:52pm

They could make it, though, with Higher Power, a really stellar new single produced by pop powerhouse Max Martin (who has worked with many shortlisted artists tonight such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and the Weeknd). It’s essentially the War on Drugs on actual drugs, with a peppy Dancing in the Dark-type snare keeping the energy high, and Chris using his traditional whoa-oh-ohs to encircle quasi-religious bromides presumably gleaned from an ayahuasca ceremony with Instagram fitness models in Tulum. He is in really fine voice right across the broad octave range needed for this track, and they perform it on a pontoon in the Thames with holograms instead of backing dancers – social distancing kings!

So the stage is perhaps the most natural place for her and, having ditched her earlier highlighter-coloured dress, she’s like a flicker of flame in red and gives her ballad real presence. Backed by harp and piano, she would perhaps benefit from a bit more orchestral oomph and support for that middle eight where her voice sounds a little hard and stark – but this is just fine tuning for a live show that will no doubt grow to become something really dramatic.

Taking the lockdown houseplant craze to a psychedelic extreme by fringing her band with dozens of sunflowers, and wearing her second excellent suit of the night, she performs Hope, and shows that her voice works just as well beaming to the back of the bleachers as it does cupping your ear. She adds in a spoken middle eight referring to the pandemic’s difficulties, and how we’ve learned to talk over Zoom and continue to allow relationships to blossom – much like those flowers. A brass band, Kinetika Bloco, then arrives to bring the song into full bloom. One of the night’s best performances.

He gets to have a victory lap at the Brit awards instead, performing Save Your Tears via video in a thoroughly waterproof outfit – a J Hus fisherman reference, we hope – alongside Daniel Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, continuing his unlikely path from super-underground electronic producer to impresario of highly theatrical Weeknd performances (he was also musical director of the Super Bowl half-time show). This is a much more ambitious spectacle than the usual phoned-in video link, with the Weeknd leaving a concrete performance box to step into a rainy apocalypse, presumably full of precipitation formed from the tears of his spurned lovers. His vocal, as ever, is supremely confident, studio quality but still live-feeling. World class.

Hearteningly, though, this year’s rising star award shortlist featured two east Asian singers, Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama, and the winner Griff, who is of Chinese and Jamaican parentage. Sawayama’s mashup of nu-metal, glossy pop and influences from deconstructed club music is progressive and thrilling; Griff is a safer, decidedly major label prospect who, so far, has been delivering blandly capable songwriting rather than true pop magic. She gives everything to Black Hole in a Weeknd-style apocalyptic wilderness, and her keening, wronged voice in the chorus is full of character. But it’s hard to escape the fact that this is a bit of a “third single from Rita Ora’s comeback album” level song.

AJ Tracey appears in a light-up corridor and delivers his verse of Ain’t It Different on point, and the two then trade freestyled bars in lieu of an absent Stormzy for verse three. “The government is saying eat out to help out but won’t help out Rashford when he’s feeding the youths” – another bit of Boris bashing and Rashford promotion to file alongside AJ’s similar verse in his track with Digga D, Bringing It Back – and “two black Brits stand here at the Brits but still we ain’t seen as British”. It’s not quite as clear and emphatic as those aforementioned examples, but nevertheless they’re still using the Brits stage as a space to question racism and government decisions during the pandemic – unimaginably different, and better, than the purely lairy energy of the Brits in previous decades.

Then it’s a segue into brighter, wavier fare with Young T & Bugsey for Don’t Rush, with Headie even cracking one of his rare, slightly enigmatic smiles. A great showcase of all sides of his artistry.

But set amid the context of the hopefully waning pandemic, amid an O2 Arena full of frontline heroes, and backed by the estimable key workers of the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, the song wrenches back its power – the extra choral heft gives it the grandeur it lacks in the recorded version, Rag’n’Bone Man’s voice is reliably stirring, and the shots panning across the singing NHS staff are truly moving. It is also now available to download, to benefit NHS charities.

A fitting climax to a show that repeatedly acknowledged the extraordinary work done by key workers during the pandemic – a task that the Brit awards, hosting pop at its most universal and shamelessly emotional, was so well placed to deliver on.

Elton John and Years & Years tease surprise collaboration at The Brits

Daily Mail 11 May, 2021 - 04:02am

By Niomi Harris For Mailonline

Elton John and Years & Years look set to perform together at the 2021 Brit Awards on Tuesday, with both parties teasing the surprise collaboration on social media.

The Rocket Man hitmaker, 74, has reportedly agreed to take to the stage with Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, 30, after becoming a huge fan of Olly's performance as Ritchie Tozer in Channel 4 drama It's A Sin. 

And the joint performance has been heavily hinted at on social media, with Elton, Years and Years and The Brit Awards' Instagram accounts all sharing words that spell out 'It's Sin.'

Set to perform? Elton John and Years & Years look set to perform together at the 2021 Brit Awards on Tuesday, with both parties teasing the surprise collaboration on social media

Sir Elton got the rumour mill going on Monday night by posting the word 'It's' on a brightly coloured background, before Years & Years dropped the word 'A' in an identical font.

Fuelling the speculation further, the official Brit Awards page then posted the word 'Sin', getting fans excited for what will no doubt be an epic performance.

It's reported that they'll be teaming up to perform a cover of the Pet Shop Boys' hit It's A Sin, which of course shares its name with the critically acclaimed series which starred Olly. 

Exciting! the joint performance has been heavily hinted at on social media, with Elton, Years and Years and The Brit Awards' Instagram accounts all sharing words that spell out 'It's Sin'

A source told The Sun: 'Elton and Olly have become unlikely pals and when the idea was floated that they should perform together on the night they jumped at it.

'It has been a last-minute decision and it is all being kept hush hush so there will be a surprise for viewers, but they have been working hard to put on something really special.'

MailOnline have contacted representatives of Elton for comment.

Elton was a huge fan of It's A Sin when it aired on TV earlier this year and even shared his appreciation on social media.

Fan: The Rocket Man hitmaker, 74, has reportedly agreed to take to the stage with Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, 30, after becoming a huge fan of Olly's performance as Ritchie Tozer in Channel 4 drama It's A Sin 

He wrote: 'It’s A Sin is an incredibly moving account of the arrival of AIDS in the UK in the 1980’s. 

'Watching it, so many sad and devastating memories came flooding back. Many people were callous, ignorant and cruel. Thank God we have come so far since then.

'Hats off to @russelltdavies63 on creating this moving testament to a pivotal and important moment in LGBTQ history. The cast are sublime. Congratulations all round. A triumph of creativity and humanity.'

From multi-BAFTA Award-winning writer Russell T Davies, It's A Sin follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and charts the joy and heartbreak of a group of friends across a decade in which everything changed. 

Collaboration: A source said: 'Elton and Olly have become unlikely pals and when the idea was floated that they should perform together on the night they jumped at it'

Last minute: 'It has been a last-minute decision and it is all being kept hush hush so there will be a surprise for viewers, but they have been working hard to put on something really special'

Olly starred alongside a cast of rising stars and celebrated favourites including Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry and Neil Patrick Harris and It's a Sin has been universally praised by fans. 

Davies, the writer and producer behind Queer As Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and Cucumber, loosely based It's A Sin on his own experiences in the eighties.

He also spent hours in conversation with his childhood friend Jill Nalder, an actor, ally and activist who lived in London during the decade and is played by Lydia West in the drama.

Clues: Sir Elton got the rumour mill going on Monday night by posting the word 'It's' on a brightly coloured background, before Years & Years dropped the word 'A' in an identical font. The official Brit Awards page then posted the word 'Sin'

Such a fan was Elton that he even invited Olly and the entire cast to dinner while on a phone call with the singer on his Apple Music 1 radio show in February.

He said: 'I told you when I called you, when this COVID thing has calmed down I'm going to have all of you guys down for a dinner and we're going to have the best time!' 

He also praised the show as the 'best thing' he's ever watched, saying: 'I have to say, being a gay man and having lived through that time, this is probably one of the best things I've seen on television, ever!

'For those of you who haven't seen it, you must see it, it will have a lasting impact.'

Inspired: Elton was a huge fan of It's A Sin when it aired on TV earlier this year and even shared his appreciation on social media 

Invite: Such a fan was Elton that he even invited Olly and the entire cast to dinner while on a phone call with the singer on his Apple Music 1 radio show in February 

Comparing his younger self to Ritchie, Elton said: 'Well, it reminded me of myself in the '70s. I was a very naughty boy and I had so much fun and I didn't care what I got up to.' (Elton pictured in 1973, left, and Olly's character Ritchie , in show still, right) 

He added: 'I find you [Olly] inspirational and I told you when I called you, and we both share the same record label by the way, I talked to them and they talked about you, from the word go, how great you are.'

Meanwhile, comparing his younger self to Ritchie, Elton said: 'Well, it reminded me of myself in the '70s. I was a very naughty boy and I had so much fun and I didn't care what I got up to.' 

Elsewhere, the 2021 Brit Awards, hosted by Jack Whitehall, will mark the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses prepare to release 2,500 free tickets to key workers. 

The Brit Awards will take place in front of a live audience of 4,000 people at London's The O2 on 11 May - six days before the next phase of lockdown lifts. 

The ceremony, which will be broadcast live on ITV, will celebrate the return to live music and nominee Dua Lipa has promised those attending that it will 'be a night to remember'. 

Big event: Elsewhere, the 2021 Brit Awards , hosted by Jack Whitehall, will mark the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses prepare to release 2,500 free tickets to key workers 

The indoor ceremony and live show will form part of the Government's scientific Events Research Programme, and it will use enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21. 

Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, this means The BRITs, will be the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, with 4,000 tickets being up for grabs- just one fifth of the venue's 20,000 capacity. 

The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year's restrictions. 

Celebrate: The ceremony, which will be broadcast live on ITV, will celebrate the return to live music and nominee Dua Lipa has promised those attending that it will 'be a night to remember' (pictured triple nominee Dua Lipa)

Awarded! Taylor Swift is set to make history as the first ever female to be given BRITs Global Icon Award at the ceremony on Tuesday (pictured in 2019)

Audience members will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the arena, but they will be required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue. 

As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, attendees will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. 

The show is set to award Taylor Swift - who will make history as the first ever female to be given BRITs Global Icon Award at the ceremony on Tuesday. 

The 11-time Grammy Award winner, 31, will join former winners Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie in being given with the award in recognition of her impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date. 

ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS 

CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE 

J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY

JESSIE WARE WHAT'S YOUR PLEASURE? 

220 KID & GRACEY DON'T NEED LOVE

AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN 

DUA LIPA PHYSICAL

HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN'T IT DIFFERENT 

JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART

NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER

REGARD & RAYE SECRETS 

S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON'T RUSH

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