Entertainment & Arts

Brits 2016: The real winners and losers

Adele may have swept the board at the 2016 Brits, but there's always more to the show than the awards.

On a night of joy and disappointment, stolen kisses and spectacular performances, who were the real winners and losers at the O2 Arena?

Most humiliated brother

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While accepting the award for best British male, behatted balladeer James Bay appeared to thank "my brother Lucy".

However, it transpires that Lucy is Bay's long-term girlfriend. His brother's name is, in fact, Alex. Which only goes to show the importance of punctuating your acceptance speech.

Cheekiest kiss

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Never backward about coming forward, Justin Bieber accosted Adele as she walked up to collect the best single prize, and gave her a good old smooch on the cheek.

Best red carpet rant

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"The music industry's a bit like Crufts," complained Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis. "It's all about hairstyles and who's got the best training and pedigree."

"In guitar music, it definitely feels like there's been a brain drain. There's a lot of [bands] dressing up in parents' clothes and acting out pastiche-like tropes. I'd like to see a return of edgy, unpredictable, wild guitar music."

The 'Get A Room' award for intimate touching

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Drake and Rihannna spent the three-minute performance of Work indulging in the sort of behaviour that would get you thrown out of your local swimming pool.

Not that fans seemed to mind. There was a palpable sense of excitement about their performance, especially after Rihanna pulled out of last week's Grammys with bronchitis.

"Rihanna is simply breathtaking," tweeted one; while Shuj Starr added: "I'm literally about to go lay down in my grave... I've died after that performance!"

Most touching dedication

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Adele dedicated the night's most prestigious award, best British album, to "the love of my life," her two-year-old son, Angelo.

"This is all for you peanut, I love you so much," she said. "I love you. I love you."

Bitterest memories

"In 2000 STEPS won a @brits Award for Best Live Act," tweeted Ian 'H' Watkins during the ceremony. "They told us we had to pay £500 each for one. I told them to get stuffed!"

Most measured reaction to the #BritsSoWhite controversy

Stormzy, Lily Allen, Laura Mvula and Wolf Alice were among the acts to criticise the lack of black and urban nominees at this year's ceremony and, indeed, every single winner on the night was white.

But P-Funk legend George Clinton had an interesting perspective on the controversy.

"It's always been that way," he told the BBC. "But it only makes you have to work harder and get better. That's what it takes to become great - adversity."

"But things are always changing for the better," he added. "Fault is easy to find - but finding a reason to keep on pushing is the hardest thing. And when I can find that reason, I'm satisfied."

And his ambition for 2016? "To get the whole planet funkin'".

Best reunion

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Lorde's faithful rendering of David Bowie's Life On Mars gave viewers the chance to reminisce and reflect on the star's achievements - but the masterstroke was backing her with Bowie's touring band, who last played together on the 2004 Reality tour.

Those musicians were:

  • Mike Garson - keyboards
  • Earl Slick - guitar
  • Sterling Campbell - drums
  • Gail Ann Dorsey - bass
  • Gerry Leonard - guitar
  • Catherine Russell - keyboards

The standing ovation inside the O2 Arena last over a minute, continuing long after the TV show cut to a commercial break.

Most invisible television camera

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"Which way am I supposed to face?", asked Chris Martin, on the podium to pick up the best group prize.

"Where do I look?",questioned James Bay moments later. "And where do I look?", stuttered a bewildered Kevin Parker, spinning in circles as he tried to accept Tame Impala's best international group award.

Here's a hint for next year: Face the same direction as the person who just read out your name.

Best flipping of hair

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The hair flip is an essential weapon in every girl band's armoury - and Little Mix proved they'd mastered the art.

Biggest strop

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Blur seemed in good spirits on the red carpet until one hapless reporter asked what they expected from the David Bowie tribute.

"I never liked him myself," said Alex James, walking off in a huff - much to the mystification of his bandmate Graham Coxon.

"Did he say he never liked him?" he asked, incredulously. "Oh, right. I loved David Bowie. That was a shock."

Least helpful publicist

Country singer Father John Misty was up for best international male, but his team weren't prepared to build his hopes up.

"My publicist said earlier that 'I have literally no chance of winning that award,'" he told the BBC. "So I would just like to sit and anonymously enjoy Rihanna. That's the best case scenario for me tonight."

Perhaps they just wanted to manage his expectations after his recent experience at the Grammy Awards.

"I got nominated for a Grammy for best packaging, which I lost to Jack White," he deadpanned. "If I seem a little low tonight, it's because I'm still reeling from that loss."

Most dated humour

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Too many of Ant and Dec's jokes fell flat, but the nadir was the moment when Ant "mistakenly" appeared on stage in a dress. Because a man in a dress is hilarious, right?

Coming so soon after the tribute to Bowie - an artist who did so much to challenge sexual stereotypes - it felt woefully dated.

Most improved guest

Rock band Wolf Alice were first-time nominees in the best breakthrough category - but singer Ellie Roswell let slip that it wasn't her first ever Brit Awards.

"I worked here five years ago, doing waitressing," she confessed. "It wasn't very nice, because I can't seem to carry two plates at once."

Best observation

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"I am here at the #Brits," tweeted 6 Music's star-struck breakfast show host Shaun Keaveny.

"Justin Bieber just walked past me with a piece of bog roll stuck to his trainer."

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