Coldplay, Eminem and highly hyped newcomer Ms. Dynamite scored big at the U.K.’s Brit Awards last night, scooping two gongs each for their recent efforts. The annual London bash featured an array of homegrown and international talent — Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue, Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Avril Lavigne, Tom Jones and Pink — and while a party atmosphere prevailed, some of the night’s performers used their time to voice concerns over a possible war with Iraq.
Ms. Dynamite, who finally releases her debut A Little Deeper in the U.S. next month, performed a duet, via video link, with George Michael. Changing the lyrics to Michael’s hit “Faith,” the two registered their protest against the proposed war, singing, “We’ve been here before/Talk of violence and talk of war/I don’t wanna see the children die no more/So I gotta make a stand/People hear my voice.” Ms. Dynamite nabbed statues for Best British Urban Act and Best British Female and made waves announcing that she’s a newlywed during her thank-you speech.
After winning best British Group, Coldplay’s Chris Martin voiced his own concerns about war: “We think this is great, although awards are nonsense and we’re all gonna die when George Bush has his way, [but] it’s great to go out on a bang.”
Eminem kept away from the ceremony, sending in video speeches for his Best International Male Award and Best International Album Award for The Eminem Show. Also appearing on pre-taped messages were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who picked up a nod for Best International Group, and Norah Jones, who scooped Best International Breakthrough. Best British Breakthrough went to Will Young, the British winner of Pop Idol, whom America met when he and Kelly Clarkson performed a duet on the season finale of American Idol. Tom Jones was also was awarded for his Outstanding Contribution to music, which last year went to Sting. The Welshman later closed out the show with a medley of his greatest hits.
Most of the show’s performances were fairly tame fodder — Avril Lavigne did “Sk8er Boy,” and Pink did a medley of “Get the Party Started” with “Just Like a Pill” — but the crowd roared when Kylie Minogue came out as Justin Timberlake’s special guest. After Timberlake performed “Cry Me a River,” and “Like I Love You,” the pint-sized, Aussie pop princess joined him for Blondie classic “Rapture.” The two preened and posed across the stage, and Timberlake set tongues wagging as he grabbed her world famous rear.
The full list of Brit Award winners:
Best British Breakthrough: Will Young
Best International Breakthrough: Norah Jones
Best British Single: Liberty X, “Just a Little”
Best British Male: Robbie Williams
Best British Urban Act: Ms. Dynamite
Best International Male: Eminem
Best Pop Act: Blue
Best International Female: Pink
Best British Female: Ms. Dynamite
Best International Group: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Best British Dance Act: Sugababes
Best British Group: Coldplay
Best International Album: Eminem, The Eminem Show
Best British Album: Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head Outstanding Contribution: Tom Jones