The Edge Live Blogs: The BRIT Awards 2017

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The British music industry is coming out in full force to celebrate the best artists, songs and albums of the year at this year’s BRIT Awards.

Join Records Editor Xavier Voigt-Hill from 7.30pm, as he live-blogs the event, commenting on the winners, losers and performances.

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Good evening! Tonight I, Xavier Voigt-Hill, will be your guide to all the festivities at British music’s fanciest gala: the BRIT Awards. Coming live from London’s O2 Arena – and my desk in Southampton, because it seems The Edge‘s invite got a little bit lost in the mail – the action should kick off any second.

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We begin with Little Mix screeching, shattering glass on the arena’s giant screens, and being carried in on shimmering, edgy thrones. I know they’re up for three awards tonight, but this seems a little bit excessive.

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Here’s a press shot composite of Little Mix and Skepta, tonight’s most nominated acts, that is without a doubt my finest visual contribution to this publication.

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‘Shout Out To My Ex’ gets a little bit chanty with a sizeable squad of statuette-esque folks in silver. Our first table shot of the evening shows off The 1975. Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis start rambling in their typical manners by talking about tonight’s performers and how the show will potentially “blow your pants off.”

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Fancy getting involved tonight? Coldplay, James Arthur, Little Mix, One Direction, and ZAYN are up for the Best British Video prize and you can vote on the Twitters.

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David Tennant to present tonight’s first award:

British Female Solo Artist

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The prize goes to Emeli Sandé! That’s my predictions busted already, then.

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“Thank you so much for allowing me to make the music that I wanted to make,” says Sandé as she hands her contorted Zaha Hadid trophy to sister Lucy.

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As we sit through the evening’s first ad break, it’s certainly worth noting that the BRITs’ voting committee has heavily diversified over the past year. Over 700 of the 1,200 eligible voters are new this time around, and the nominations of ANOHNI, Lianne La Havas, and NAO in that last category are strong indications that acts without strong mainstream recognition are still in contention for the recognition they truly deserve.

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Bruno Mars is looking far more plain on stage for very good new 24K Magic single ‘That’s What I Like,’ but he still wants Julio to bring him scampi.

Send in your predictions for tonight’s arena menu options – other than wine, obviously – over on your favourite bird-based social media. My money’s on tiny portions of fancily-prepared chicken.

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Maisie Williams and Romesh Ranganathan are tonight’s first awkward presenting duo. “I’m here because they heard I listen to grime and wanted to overcompensate for last year,” notes Ranganathan.

British Group

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Surprise surprise, the prize goes to Matty Healy The 1975!

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“We love you and we’re very, very honoured.”

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O’Leary, of course, repeats Healy’s comments on not staying lanes if you have a platform whilst Willis tries to, you know, get on with the show.

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Dermot: “Who are you looking forward to seeing tonight?”

Young person on floor: “Skepta.”

Dermot: “Yes, my partner in grime!”

Me: *facepalm*

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Zane Lowe here from Beats 1 Los Angeles Always On Worldwide Apple Music Live In Over 100 Countries for the next gong:

British Male Solo Artist

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“If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn’t be here tonight.”

Michael C. Hall picks up the trophy with a touching eulogy for David Bowie on his third BRITs victory, repeating wins in the same category as 1984 and 2014.

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Fresh off a win, Emeli Sandé’s brought the orchestra and peculiarly muted clapping to a very animated rendition of ‘Hurts.’

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Emma: “That voice! Emeli Sandé! She is a cracker!”

Dermot: “Woo!”

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Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw – who will be on BBC Radio 1 from 6:30 tomorrow morning – have been entrusted with the next prize, as voted for by the people of the internet who could be bothered to fill out an online form:

British Breakthrough Act

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Weird thing that I can’t recall happening before: Anne-Marie and Rag’n’Bone Man were both also up for the Critics’ Choice gong alongside Dua Lipa. He won that one.

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First he outsold Bradley Walsh in a week, and now he’s a two-time BRIT winner: it’s Rag’n’Bone Man!

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“Oh my days,” said Rory Graham before ITV’s website decided to doze off on me.

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The 1975 get the job of following Ed Sheeran teasing his own forthcoming performance, with Healy and co. up to do a much more enticing version of ‘The Sound’ than they delivered at the BBC’s Music Awards late last year.

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Like in the single’s video, we’re getting pastel pink cards with derogatory critical feedback interspersing the broadcast.

“This band thinks it has a charismatic singer. They are mistaken.”

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I was distracted by the gospel choir, but it definitely looked like Matty Healy had flowers oozing from his wrists.

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To the sounds of everyone from Leonard Cohen to Viola Beach, we enter the George Michael tribute – complete with three Wham! colleagues – with a brief yet extensive look through those we lost last year.

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After the emotional recounting of the Wham! tale from Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi, and Shirlie, Chris Martin has appeared to lead the performance aspect of the tribute. Lights are waving, the piano is delicate, the orchestra is playing, and the video backdrop is being used to bring Michael back to the arena to duet.

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“Mum, thanks for meeting dad at a Robbie Williams concert because it made me and I love my life.”

Nothing like a Mastercard ad to snap things from the poignancy.

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Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby are out for the night’s fifth award:

British Single

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(My vote goes to literally none of those things.)

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(Also, we’re 82 minutes into this ceremony and only four awards down. COME ON, GUYS.)

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The trophy goes to Little Mix! We get to hear the entirety of ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ in the time it takes them to hit the stage because “they were sitting chinwagging.”

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Theresa May’s found a way to solve the housing crisis: get Katy Perry to waltz around a brand new batch of flimsy, Left Shark-like houses on the O2’s stage.

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To be fair, a suited Perry walking around Google Street View with giant skull puppets is exactly the kind of bizarrely bland that ‘Chained To The Rhythm‘ deserves.

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“It goes on and on. It goes on and on. It goes on and on.”

And then Skip Marley walked down some stairs.

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Naomi Campbell and Jonathan Ross get to present the most predictable award of the evening as the houses are bulldozed:

Global Success Award

  • Adele
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Apparently Adele‘s sold some CDs and made some decent music. Who knew.

“Unfortunately, she couldn’t be here tonight.”

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“It means the world to me,” she says via VT as she doesn’t even bother trying to snap the damn trophy in half.

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Rag’n’Bone Man’s cat has been eating his Critics’ Choice Award. Unless David Bowie or The 1975 can win the album prize, he’ll be the only multiple winner this year.

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“Please go batshit crazy for Skepta,” exclaims O’Leary as the watershed rings around.

“Audio muted,” says ITV as ‘Shutdown’ dares to include the word “pussy.”

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‘Shutdown,’ released in the wake of the 2015 ceremony, will be introducing many a casual viewer to grime right now. Simon Cowell does not look impressed.

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Our first presentation troika! It’s Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, and someone whose name I didn’t quite catch from the ITV2 afterparty:

International Male Solo Artist

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“The BRITs, wagwan. It’s Drake.”

Of course. It’s Drake.

“Man had to go Brum.”

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Bloody hell, they’re getting to it now. Two more awards from these three!

International Female Solo Artist

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It’s Beyoncé because of course. They don’t even bother showing her pretending to care.

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International Group

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It’s A Tribe Called Quest because somebody had to spare us from Twenty One Pilots. They don’t even bother showing them.

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And now it’s THE CHAINSMOKERS AND COLDPLAY WHAT IS THIS

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Chris Martin’s getting screamed at by young people. Drew Taggart’s playing a guitar. The song sounds like one of Coldplay’s more meaningless with those ‘Roses’ synths in a break.

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OOH ACTUALLY THIS LAST BIT IS A LITTLE ALRIGHT.

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Here is said song:

https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Atrack%3A1dNIEtp7AY3oDAKCGg2XkH

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Now, for Twitter. Let’s see if Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger can get me a second point on the predictions board:

British Artist Video

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“I’m milking this,” says Simon Cowell. It’s One Direction‘s fourth successive win in this category, and only Big Payno has bothered to turn up.

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“We cannot believe we’re still winning these.”

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“I really appreciate it,” says Simon Cowell.

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ED TIME LET’S GET READY TO (PAEAN)

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Or, ya know, visit Suffolk on broken legs.

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One verse, one chorus, one finale. Now Sia’s in the house it’s ‘Shape’ time.

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Here’s what I don’t quite understand about Ed: three tracks (so far) into DiviHOLY SHIT STORMZY’S HERE

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I was about to spout some inconsequential nonsense about this album so far feeling like a bizarrely successful muddle but Stormzy really is what ‘Shape Of You’ needed if a Sean Paul ad-lib was truly off the cards.

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Somewhere in all that manic 20 minutes, we’ve reached the stage where only one award remains:

Mastercard British Album

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“May the best man win,” says Emma Willis. Noel Gallagher’s going to present it.

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(My money’s on Skepta, for what it’s worth. I’m also a woeful 2/9 so far.)

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David Bowie gets his fifth BRIT! His first outside the Best British Male category, somehow.

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(Blackstar was also our own album of the year winner, so I guess this means that Edge writers are basically psychic.)

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After Duncan Jones walks away after declaring Blackstar as “for the kooks,” we get a Robbie Williams medley.

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Got a little bit sidetracked because ‘Love My Life’ is so exceptionally bland unless there’s hand sanitiser involved – and we’ve already heard it in dozens of ad breaks – but that marks the end of the fun! Grime’s big year wasn’t really that, with David Bowie winning two to join Rag’n’Bone Man in the brace-winning club and Skepta’s “pussy” getting muted before Stormzy joined a ginger bloke with an acoustic guitar. Now, I must roll into the night to polish off the rosé whilst trying to understand how Coldplay came to actually release a thing with The Chainsmokers, and bid you a fond farewell!

(If you liked this, join us in the Stag’s on Oscars night this weekend. I know nothing about films so it should be FAB.)

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Records Editor, Head of Music at Surge Radio, and Web Science student who should probably dedicate more time to keeping his Spotify playlists under control.

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