Brit Awards 2022: Hits & Misses
After last year’s scaled-back edition, this year saw a return to full capacity for the awards show, along with a few switch-ups in the format. There were...
The Brit Awards were back in full effect last night.
After last year’s scaled-back edition, this year saw a return to full capacity for the awards show, along with a few switch-ups in the format. There were some new award categories, a couple of missteps, a few controversies, some stunning performances, and a new host—finally!
Here’s our highlights and lowlights of The Brit Awards 2022.
Mo Gilligan was on hosting duties
Shaking things up and giving Jack Whitehall a rest after four consecutive years as host(!), Mo Gilligan rose to the occasion and looked right at home.
Racists had a meltdown
Yes, there’s always more work to be done in terms of representation, especially at a time when Black British music reigns supreme, but there were some notable improvements this year. Mo nailed hosting duties, Munya and Nella were great on red carpet-hosting duties, and Dave, Little Simz, Inflo and Silk Sonic won deserving awards—and the gammons were furious. It’s a shame that in big-big 2022 Black people achieving the smallest modicum of success is met with swivel-eyed, frothing-at-the-mouth rage, but it just goes to show how much more work there is to be done.
Adele wins big
Unfortunately for everyone else in the same categories as her, if Adele drops an album, she’s going to win. It’s as close to a dead cert as you can get with these things. And good for her, 30 is a great album (due in no small part to the mighty Inflo, who rightly won Best Producer), but pretty much everyone in that category was deserving.
UK rap takes the spotlight
Winning Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dave had his own moment last night. Again, had this not been an Adele year, we can’t help but wonder if he would’ve won Best Album, too. Regardless, he delivered another of the night’s stunning performances. Joined by “In The Fire” collaborators Ghetts, Giggs, Fredo, Meekz and a full choir, Dave blew the roof off the building. Add to that the huge pyrotechnics and a surprise guitar solo, and you’ve got arguably the performance of the night.
There were a few changes in the awards this year and the effects ended up being pretty massive. Firstly, Best Male Solo and Best Female Solo have been replaced by a single Best Artist category. On the face of it, that’s a pretty good idea. As our views on gender are starting to become a little more enlightened, dropping the divisions in the categories makes sense. However, that meant that Dave, Little Simz, Adele, and Sam Fender were now all up against each other. Still, all in all, it’s probably a net positive.
This year, Pop and R&B were merged for reasons we’re not entirely sure about. Perhaps it’s to reflect the growing influence of Black music on pop? A slight misstep here, to be honest. Again, it halves the pool of potential winners and gives R&B artists less chance to shine when they have to go up against an artist with much broader appeal.
All hail Little Simz!
She may not have been the biggest winner, but last night definitely belonged to independent artist Little Simz. A medley performance of Sometimes I Might Be Introvert cuts “Woman” and “Introvert” brought the house down. Surrounded by a squad of dancers, Simz took full ownership of that stage and it was glorious.
Another of the new categories was Best New Artist and that brought its own controversies. Although nominated in four categories (Album Of The Year, Artist Of The Year, Best New Artist, and Best Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act), the rapper ended up winning Best New Artist. It’s great that The Brits want to recognise new talent, but it’s been eight whole years since Little Simz released her first album. Still, she deserved recognition and, as is her style, she accepted her gong with perfect grace (and a moving tribute to her mum), so if Simz is happy, we’re happy.
British Album of the Year
Adele – 30
British Artist Of The Year
Best British Song
Adele – “Easy On Me”
Best Pop/R&B Act
Best Dance Act
Best New Artist
Best Rock/Alternative Artist
Best Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act
International Artist Of The Year
International Group Of The Year
Best International Song
Olivia Rodrigo – “Good 4 U”
British Producer Of The Year
Songwriter Of The Year