The BRITs celebrated its 40th birthday in true rock'n'roll style

By Phil Boucher
February 19, 2020 05:10 PM

The BRITs are back.

From Ronnie Wood dancing on stage to the music of grime artist Stormzy and Lewis Capaldi sneaking in a cheeky curse midway through his acceptance speech for best new artist, the Brit Awards 2020 — the 40th anniversary of the event — was everything a music awards show should be: drunken, irreverent, exciting and, most of all, spectacular.

Harry Styles also seemed to be everywhere: talking to Lizzo, hugging Wood at his table, dancing to Rod Stewart at the close of the show and seemingly having time to chat with every single person at the event.

Yet it wasn’t entirely happy: at one point Styles shared a long hug with BBC radio presenter Nick Grimshaw, who spoke movingly about the death of his friend, former Love Island host Caroline Flack, earlier in the day. Styles also wore a black ribbon on his arrival suit, reportedly in honor of Flack.

RELATED: Harry Styles Pays Tribute to Caroline Flack at BRIT Awards Days After Being Mugged at Knifepoint

Harry Styles
Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

Billie Eilish was another to let her emotions in. After thanking her team and record company for her international female solo artist award, she referenced the online trolling that has recently made her quit Instagram.

“I’ve felt very hated recently and when I was on the stage and I saw you guys all smiling… it genuinely made me want to cry,” said Eilish, with tears in her eyes.

And while Stormzy and London rap artist Dave both produced remarkable sets, it was Eilish who really stole the show with her debut performance of Bond theme “No Time to Die”.

Described as “The Avengers of music” by host Jack Whitehall, the Bad Guy singer took to the stage alongside brother Finneas O’Connell, Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr and legendary composer Hans Zimmer to produce a pitch-perfect rendition of the theme. She even hit the high note she was so scared of in the lead-up.

Finneas and Billie Eilish
Dave J Hogan/Getty

As the curtain fell at the close of the song, all four members of Eilish’s musical Avengers assembled for a hug as they walked off stage — with Eilish literally jumping with excitement.

The singer also had a similar effect on Lizzo: the pair shared a bonding moment during Eilish’s acceptance speech where she accidentally said ‘Lizzo’ instead of London. The “Juice singer” — who partied at London nightspot The Box until 4 a.m. — responded with a sexy wiggle and a double-armed point at Eilish on stage.

RELATED: Billie Eilish Debuts Bond Theme Song at the BRIT Awards After Admitting She Was ‘Terrified’

Lizzo
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Lizzo also downed a class filled with neat tequila later on — yet she was by no means the only one to be imbibing. Having sneaked in a curse for his first award, Lewis Capaldi produced possibly the most Scottish moment ever seen at an awards show by taking the stage to jokingly thank his dead grandmother for inspiring his hit “Someone You Loved.”

In his hand Capaldi was holding a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine: produced by monks at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, it is hugely popular in Scotland for its potency, earning it the nickname “wreck the hoose juice.”

Lewis Capaldi
Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty

RELATED: Lewis Capaldi Reveals Why He’s a ‘Little Worried’ About Going on Tour with Niall Horan

Yet the award for the most outrageous moment of the night goes to host Whitehall and rising British rock star Sam Fender. In an expletive-laden interview that wasn’t broadcast, Fender admitted sneaking his own alcohol into the awards and that his 2019 Critics’ Choice Award is now serving as a beer pump in his local pub close to Newcastle, England.

Fender then finished the interview by telling Whitehall’s sister — who’s getting married later this week — to dump her boyfriend and date him instead.

RELATED GALLERY: Lizzo’s Sweet Style, Billie Eilish’s Monochrome Look and More Celebrities on the 2020 BRIT Awards Red Carpet

After that, all that was left to do was sing to Rod Stewart who closed the show with the Faces classic “Stay with Me.” “It’s come to the moment you’ve been waiting for: the end of the night,” joked Stewart. Not a bit of it.

Advertisement