The 1975 have been crowned the big winners at the Brit Awards, picking up the night’s top prizes for best British album and group — and addressing male misogyny in the industry as they did it.
Accepting the award for best group, frontman Matt Healy said: “Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and examined as traits of difficult artists, while women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art.”
It was a reference to a recent Guardian article on abuse of power in music, and came as a poignant moment on a night which had initially been dominated by female nominees.
But only Little Mix and Dua Lipa (with Calvin Harris) picked up awards in the other mixed categories – for best video and best single respectively.
Harris was the other big winner of the night, also picking up the award for best producer – after 16 nominations in 10 years.
“I want to thank the people at home,” the Scottish DJ said.
“I want to thank anyone that’s bought a tune, streamed a tune, come to a show, listened to a tune by accident on the radio.”
In the other main categories, George Ezra and Jorja Smith took home the male and female artist prizes, while Tom Walker was crowned best breakthrough act.
Performances came from Little Mix, George Ezra, The 1975 and Jess Glynne and H.E.R, as well as Hugh Jackman and Pink – who closed the show with a medley of hits after picking up the outstanding contribution award.
Starting off in a dressing grown and then entering the stage from the ceiling, Pink ended a defiant set surrounded by dancers and offering a raised fist.
Ahead of her performance, Pink said it was an honour to follow in the footsteps of others who have won the prize, including Fleetwood Mac and Sir Elton John.
Little Mix – who won the public-voted best video prize for Woman Like Me, their collaboration with Nicki Minaj, jumped up and down at their table as their name was called out.
Accepting the award, Jade Thirlwall said it was “a video that really meant something to us”, while Jesy Nelson said the band would not be where they were without the “incredible fans” who have supported them since their X Factor win in 2011.
In her best female artist speech, Jorja Smith, who was also nominated for best breakthrough act, said her win was “for all the little girls and women who are just being themselves”, and added: “I didn’t expect this at all.”
Accepting his breakthrough act award, Tom Walker gave a shout-out to his home country – and one person in particular.
“To everybody up in Scotland, to my gran who’s watching somewhere on telly – yes, Gran! Here we are.”
Earlier in the night, he had told Sky News he was “absolutely buzzing” just to be at the ceremony.
In the international categories, the winners included Ariana Grande, Drake and Beyonce and Jay-Z.
Ahead of the awards, Dua Lipa and Anne-Marie had been favourites, with four nominations each.
However, these failed to translate into wins, with Lipa winning the one prize and Anne-Marie none.
Other awards went to Ed Sheeran, for global success, and Sam Fender, who was named the Brits Critics Choice winner.
:: Brit Awards 2019 winners
British male solo artist: George Ezra
British female solo artist: Jorja Smith
British single: Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – One Kiss
British group: The 1975
British breakthrough act: Tom Walker
British album: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
British artist video of the year: Little Mix ft Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me
International male: Drake
International female: Ariana Grande
International group: Beyonce and Jay-Z
British producer of the year: Calvin Harris
Critics’ choice: Sam Fender
Global success: Ed Sheeran
Outstanding contribution to music: Pink
(c) Sky News 2019: Brit Awards 2019: The 1975 win best British album and best group