The BRITS effect is rippling through the charts this week with Emeli Sandé back up to Number Two with ‘Our Version of Events’ and Ben Howard seeing sales of his album triple overnight- but the big question seems to be if such a super slick and predictable ceremony was actually entertaining, despite achieving the highest TV viewing figures in a decade.
According to ITV, over 6.5 million people tuned in (and possibly snoozed out) to see Sandé walk away with best album and best female solo artist and climb back to Number One in the mid-weeks before being pushed back to two by Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s ‘Push the Sky Away’.
Howard was also awarded two Damien Hirst designed gongs, for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist and the demand for his ‘Every Kingdom’ album rose by 320% overnight, going on to make a less than dramatic climb from 46 to 34 in this week’s chart. Ben Howard’s Manager Owain Davies is based in the North East and had previously received industry advice from Generator.
Other winners included Mumford and Sons, Frank Ocean, Adele, Coldplay and Lana Del Ray in a slickly choreographed evening at The O2 Arena in London on Wednesday (20 February), also featuring performances from the likes of One Direction, Muse, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift.
Whilst a perfectly adequate reflection of the commercial pop charts, the BRITS left some media commentators yearning for the days of the KLF opening fire on the crowd, Jarvis wiggling his arse at Jacko, Prescott receiving an ice cold bucket of water over the head or…anything vaguely unplanned or chaotic. This has been a trend for some time- the most controversial thing that happened last year involved James Corden cutting Adele off a few minutes early as the show ran slightly over. There is the argument that slating the show for becoming more professional over the years is missing the point- after all, the BRITS are all about rewarding commercial success and the resulting show is therefore as exciting or bland as the wider pop landscape that it reflects.
All BRIT performances were made available to download after the Awards on iTunes, with proceeds for the first month going to War Child, who also received the ‘Special Recognition’ award.
The complete list of winners is:
British Female Solo Artist – Emeli Sandé
British Group – Mumford & Sons
British Breakthrough Act – Ben Howard
British Male Solo Artist – Ben Howard
International Female Solo Artist – Lana Del Rey
British Live Act – Coldplay
British Single - Adele ‘Skyfall’
International Group – The Black Keys
International Male Solo Artist – Frank Ocean
Special Recognition Award – War Child
MasterCard British Album Of The Year – Emeli Sandé ‘Our Version Of Events’
BRITs Global Success Award – One Direction
Critics’ Choice – Tom Odell
British Producer – Paul Epworth