London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

Brit Awards 2022: Who's performing and who's going to win?

Brit Awards 2022: Who's performing and who's going to win?

The 2022 Brit Awards take place at the O2 Arena on Tuesday night, with Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dave and Little Simz leading the nominations.

All four artists are up for the night's biggest prizes - artist and album of the year - alongside Sam Fender.

The ceremony is being hosted for the first time by comedian Mo Gilligan, who takes over from Jack Whitehall.

"I'm still pinching myself," says the star, who first tweeted about his ambitions to helm the show in 2011.

"I don't know who's won what - or even who's nominated for what! There might even be a little surprise performance. I don't know just yet."

All will be revealed when the show starts at 20:00 GMT on Tuesday. It will be broadcast live on ITV, and on YouTube for viewers outside the UK.

Who's performing?
Dave is one of the most highly-anticipated performers of the night


Last year's Brit Awards took place as part of the government's pilot scheme for the return of live events. Covid restrictions necessitated a mixture of live and virtual performances, with artists like Coldplay, The Weeknd and Elton John appearing on tape.

This year, organisers have vowed to "keep everything in the room" - even when that meant scrapping a planned performance from US star Doja Cat, after members of her team tested positive for Covid.

As a result, Tuesday's performances are exclusively coming from British artists - including all five artist of the year nominees: Adele, Dave, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz and Sam Fender.

Of those, Dave has the most to live up to. His audacious, politically-charged, performance of Black in 2019 is one of the most powerful Brits moments of all time. And even if he chooses to play his biggest hit from last year - the largely apolitical Stormzy collaboration, Clash - he's bound to make the most of his four minutes on stage.

Elsewhere, Holly Humberstone, winner of the Rising Star prize and an electrifying live performer, will make her Brits debut; while Anne-Marie and KSI will play their platinum-certified, song of the year-nominated hit, Don't Play.

And bringing a touch of old-school rock and roll energy is Liam Gallagher, who'll be showcasing his new single, Everything's Electric.

Who'll win the big prizes?
Could Little Simz beat more established stars like Adele and Ed Sheeran?


It's almost impossible to ignore the sales juggernaut that is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. Her so-called "divorce album", 30, was the biggest-seller of 2021, selling more than 600,000 copies in just six weeks.

The Brits are set up to reward commercial success - so she would appear to be a lock-in for the best artist and album categories.

And if Adele wins the other two prizes she's nominated for (song of the year and best pop artist) she'll tie with Robbie Williams as the most-awarded artist in Brits history, with 13 trophies weighing down her mantlepiece.

Rapper Little Simz is the dark horse in the best album race. Her smart, funky record Sometimes I Might Be Introvert was music critics' favourite album of 2021, and her producer, Inflo, has already been named producer of the year. If the 1,300-strong voting academy reflects those choices, Simz could be going home with her first-ever Brit.

For song of the year, my money is on Glass Animals - whose dream-pop anthem Heat Waves has become a streaming phenomenon. First released in October 2020, it has spent 61 weeks on the UK charts, eventually climbing into the top five at the end of last year.

Amongst the 10 nominees, it has the highest total of Spotify streams - 1.2 billion, compared to the 885 million for Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits, and the 636 million earned by Adele's Easy On Me.

For best group, Little Mix are a good shout. There's a lot of affection for them in the industry, and this will be the last chance to reward Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne before they go on hiatus later this year.

But voters could also be swayed by the reassuring presence of Coldplay - who've picked up a record ninth best group nomination - and Wolf Alice, whose Blue Weekend was one of the best-reviewed albums of 2021.
What happened to the best male and female awards?

Dua Lipa was the last person to win best female, in 2021, before the category was retired


The Brits took the decision to scrap gendered awards last year, falling in line with other major music prizes like the Grammys, MTV Awards and Australia's Arias.

The move attracted some criticism from the likes of Piers Morgan and culture secretary Nadine Dorries - who said she was concerned about how the new system "would work in terms of fair gender representation".

In the end, more women have been nominated than at any time in the past decade; and it seems fair to assume Adele will walk away with the lion's share of the prizes.

Brits chairman Tom March says the move away from best male and female prizes "felt right".

"I like the idea of creating the biggest award and accolade possible - and artist of the year has that gravitas," he told Music Week.

"The most important thing for me was making sure it didn't reduce opportunity," he added, noting that the creation of five new awards - including best dance and best pop act - had created "opportunities for more artists to be nominated".

What will Mo Gilligan bring to the show?


Every Brits host puts their own stamp on the show. James Corden was the effusive music fan, Dermot O'Leary was the polished entertainer and Jack Whitehall terrorised innocent pop stars with his barbed asides.

"You've got to be so sharp, man," says Mo Gilligan, who's taking over this year. "Remember when you went to school and you had a compass to draw circles? That's how sharp you've got to be.

"But that's the cool thing about the Brits. You can have moments where it can be a bit chaotic and there's some carnage - but then you can have iconic moments where you're like, 'Oh my God, I was there and I seen that live'."

The comedian and Masked Singer judge says he'll be less confrontational than his predecessor.

"I feel like I'm the person who's party you're coming to, but not everyone knows each other, so I've got to make sure everyone's having a great time."

What about the international awards?
Pop star Olivia Rodrigo could go home with two trophies


These are much harder to call. The competition for best international artist is unbelievably tough - with Billie Eilish facing off against Taylor Swift, Doja Cat and Lil Nas X.

But the one to beat is Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut album Sour was the UK's fourth biggest record of the year. She also made her live debut at last year's Brit Awards, something that is sure to linger in the minds of the voting academy.

Rodrigo's pop-punk anthem Good 4U has a good shot at winning best international song, too. Other strong contenders include The Weeknd's Save Your Tears and Lil Nas X's Montero (Call Me By Your Name).

Front-runners for best international group are Abba, who are riding a huge wave of affection following their unexpected comeback last September.

If they win, it'll be the Swedish band's first ever Brit Award. They only have one previous nomination - for best album - in 1977.

"I must say, I don't think we've ever had such good reviews as we have for this album," says songwriter and keyboard player Benny Andersson. "Obviously we're kosher now and we weren't in the '70s."

And if they win, how will he celebrate?

"I don't know," he laughs. "I can send you a text to tell you."

Adele won three out the four main prizes at Brit Awards on Tuesday, where she also put in an assured performance of her track I Drink Wine.

The singer won best artist, album and song of the year for Easy on Me.

Ed Sheeran was also crowned songwriter of the year at London's O2 Arena, and played two tracks, including one alongside special guest Stormzy.

Dua Lipa won the night's other big prize, as TikTok users voted for her and not Adele as the best pop/R&B act.

It means that for now at least, Robbie Williams remains out on his own ahead of Adele as the most awarded artist in Brits history with 13.

After winning the first of her three awards, for best song, Adele beamed: "I can't believe a piano ballad won up against that many bangers".

Her so-called "divorce album", 30, was the biggest-seller of 2021, selling more than 600,000 copies in just six weeks, and this was recognised by the Brits, which rewards mainstream success.

After winning the Brits first-ever genderless award for artist of the year, the star added: "I really love being a woman and being a female artist."

'I know you love a party'


The ceremony was hosted for the first time by comedian Mo Gilligan, who took over (at the "Mo-2 Arena" as he re-named it) from Jack Whitehall.

The comedian took a swipe at Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the well-documented party-gate controversy. "Boris, I know you're watching," the host said into the camera. "I know you love a party.

"Come on my guy, come down man - I know you like a cheeseboard. Look at you looking for the Dairylea."


One of the best performances of the night came from best new artist winner, Little Simz, who was joined by Crown actress Emma Corrin on-stage during a medley of tracks from her critically-acclaimed album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.

Her smart, funky record was music critics' favourite album of 2021, and ahead of the Brits her producer, Inflo, who has also worked with Adele, was named as producer of the year.

"Look what you've done mum," said Simz, collecting her award while accompanied by her mother.

"I am living proof that if you work hard at something no matter where you come from, no matter your background and your race, you can do something extraordinary,"

Elsewhere on the night, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood was on hand to give the best rock/alternative award to Sam Fender.

The South Shields rocker thanked his manager for "walking into that pub 10 years ago" and discovering him.

The winner takes it all


Abba were last nominated for a Brit Award in 1977, losing out to Simon & Garfunkel and the same fate befell them on Tuesday, as Silk Sonic - aka Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak [sic] - took the best international group.

Billie Eilish fended off competition from Olivia Rodrigo to win best international artist. But 18-year-old Rodrigo, who made her live debut at last year's awards, made up for it by winning best international song for her pop-punk anthem Good 4U.

Other winners on the night included last year's big winner, Dave for best hip-hop/grime/rap, Wolf Alice for best group, and Becky Hill for best dance.

Holly Humberstone knew before she arrived she had won the rising star award. She told the BBC that her rapid ascent, which has happened during the pandemic, has been "very strange to me" so far. "I feel like I'm in some kind of alternate universe, but I feel just so lucky," she said.

Genderless awards


Last year's Brit Awards took place as part of the government's pilot scheme for the return of live events. Covid restrictions necessitated a mixture of live and virtual performances, with artists like Coldplay, The Weeknd and Elton John appearing on tape.

This year, organisers vowed to "keep everything in the room" - even when that meant scrapping a planned performance from US star Doja Cat, after members of her team tested positive for Covid.

They also took the decision to scrap gendered awards, falling in line with other major music prizes like the Grammys, MTV Awards and Australia's Aria.

The move attracted some criticism from the likes of Piers Morgan and culture secretary Nadine Dorries - who said she was concerned about how the new system "would work in terms of fair gender representation"

In the end, more women were nominated than at any time in the past decade; and women walked away with the lion's share of the prizes

Brits chairman Tom March says the move away from best male and female prizes "felt right".

Speaking on the red carpet beforehand, another singer Self Esteem told BBC music correspondent Mark Savage: "It's crazy to me it already wasn't the case. You know?

"We're still living in this terribly gendered society even though everything is like, 'live, laugh, love' and everyone's fine."

She added: "I constantly feel second or discriminated against because of being a woman and isn't that insane? The zeitgeist makes you think it isn't like that anymore.

"So well done Brits for doing it, but I'm not gonna be like, clapping!"


How Mo Gilligan predicted he'd host the Brits in 2011

How Mo Gilligan predicted he'd host the Brits in 2011

Watch: Maya Jama was among the stars on the red carpet


Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
×