Rapper Tinie Tempah, rockers Arcade Fire, and former ’90s boy band Take That were the big winners at the 2011 Brit Awards held at London’s 02 arena.
The 22-year-old Tempah, real name Patrick Okogwu, was named the British Breakthrough Act of the year, and his song “Pass Out” was named the top British single. He received the most nominations of the night with four. Tempah might be best known in the U.S. for his song “Written in the Stars,” which was the theme for WWE’s Royal Rumble pay per view event held last month.
Arcade Fire also won two awards in the Best International Group and Best International album categories. They performed “Ready to Start” at the Brit Awards ceremony, as they did last Sunday night at the Grammys. Duran Duran’s John Taylor and a bearded Simon Le Bon presented the band with their trophies for Best International Album. After accepting the album award for the Grammy-winning “The Suburbs,” the group’s Win Butler paid tribute to several British music influences in his acceptance speech. He specifically thanked such 1980s stars as New Order, The Clash, and The Smiths.
Speaking of ’80s artists, and Duran Duran’s in that category, a subdued (for him) looking Boy George gave out the award for Best British Female Artist to Laura Marling. After being introduced to the crowd, George, wearing a dark suit topped by a bright blue hat, strolled to the long catwalk-like stage to the sound of Lady Gaga’s new single, “Born This Way.”
The reunited Take That, including Robbie Williams, opened the show with the futuristic sounding “Kidz.” The group was surrounded on stage by a group of dancers dressed in riot police gear. Later in the night, the quintet was named Best British group. On a side note, it’s still surprising how Williams was such a big star in Europe with hits like “Angels,” “Millenium” and “Strong,” but couldn’t make any dent on the U.S. music charts.
21-year-old songstress Adele performed a great version of “Someone Like You” at The Brit Awards, accompanied by just a pianist. The 2008 Grammy winner for Best Artist showed she didn’t need heavy theatrics, an eye catching costume, pyrotechnics, or dancers to deliver a captivating performance. Her sophomore album, “21,” currently number one on the UK album chart, is released on Feb. 22 in the U.S.
Several of the artists featured at the Los Angeles-held Grammys also were seen at the Brit Awards. Cee Lo Green sang “Forget You” on The Brits broadcast, dressed in a white outfit instead of the Elton John-inspired peacock feathers. The performance was minus Gwneth Paltrow and the Jim Henson puppets but added singer Paloma Faith, four backup singers, and a line of dancers instead. Rhianna belted out a medley of “The Only Girl in the World,” “What’s My Name” and “S&M.” Justin Bieber was on hand to pick up his trophy for Best International Breakthrough Act. Mumford and Sons also performed on the Brits broadcast, as well as winning Best British Album for “Sign No More.”
Highlights of the 2011 Brit Awards ceremony can be found on the web at www.brits.co.uk. ITV1 broadcast the show live to the UK. No word on if the broadcast will be televised on BBC America, as in the past.
List of 2011 Brit Awards winners
British male solo artist: Plan B
British female solo artist: Laura Marling
British breakthrough act: Tinie Tempah
British group:Take That
British single: “Pass Out” by Tinie Tempah
British album of the year: “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons
International male solo artist: Cee Lo Green
International female solo artist: Rihanna
International breakthrough act: Justin Bieber
International group: Arcade Fire
International album: “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire
Critics’ Choice: Jessie J
“Brit Awards 2011” by Anita Singh, The Telegraph, 2/16/11.
Tinie Tempah info, All Music Guide, allmusic.com.
Tinie Tempah Wikipedia info, Wkikpedia. org.
“The Official UK Album Charts”, Music Week, Pg. 27, 2/19/11.www.musicweek.com
“You call that toning it down? Rihanna cleans up her song for the Brits… but not her outfit” by Georgina Littlejohn , Daily Mail , 2/16/11, Mail on Line.com.