Harry Styles said he is ‘aware of his privilege’ as he won Artist of the Year at the BRIT Awards and thanked his former One Direction bandmates.
The singer, 27, appeared to allude to online criticism he received after the Grammy Awards when he said ‘people like me’ don’t win when he accepted the award for Album of the Year.
Taking to the stage in London’s 02 Arena, he said: ‘I want to thank my family for being the most supportive, understand family I could have ever asked for.
‘I want to thank my mum for singing me up for X Factor, I wouldn’t be here without you. I want to thank Niall [Horan], Louis [Tomlinson], Liam [Payne] and Zayn [Malik] becaue I wouldn’t be here with you either.’
Harry dedicated his award to several female artists after the BRITs received criticism for its all-male Artist of the Year nominees after making the award gender neutral.
Speech: Harry Styles said he is ‘aware of his privilege’ as he won Artist of the Year at the BRIT Awards and thanked his former One Direction bandmates
He said: ‘I’m aware of my privilege up here tonight so this award is for Reyna, Florence [Welch], Mabel and Becky [Hill].’
Harry kicked the BRIT Awards 2023 off with a bang as he opened the show with a performance of his song As It Was.
The star, who is up for four awards at this year’s ceremony, took to the stage in a red shimmering blazer and black trousers.
Host Mo Gilligan then took to the stage and welcomed attendes to the show, saying: ‘For the first time ever, we’re on a Saturday night. The tables are back in full effect.’
Aitch took home the first award of the night, winning the Hip-Hop/Grime Act gong.
The rapper swore within seconds of stepping on stage, saying: ‘I’m s****ing myself because I thought I’d have time for a couple of more drinks before I came on here but obviously not!
He added: ‘I want to give a big up to my fans for voting, thank you very much. It’s possible no matter where you’re from.’
Beyonce took home the award for International Artist of the Year, beating out the likes of Kendrik Lamar, Lizzo and Taylor Swift.
Opener: Harry kicked the BRIT Awards 2023 off with a bang as he opened the show with a performance of his song As It Was
Winner: Aitch swore live as he took home the first award of the night, winning the Hip-Hop/Grime Act gong
The star was not present at the ceremony but recorded an acceptance speech, saying: ‘Thank you so much for this incredible recongition.
‘I’d like to say thank you to all of my fans in Britain for this award. The renaissance begins, I’ll see you on tour!’
Becky Hill won the Dance Act award for the second year award and paid tribute to some of her fellow artists in her speech.
She said: ‘I want to thank the Brits committee for putting me on the short list of the dance act for another year.
‘It’s such an honour to be nominated alongside Eliza Rose and Raye, who are an inspiration for women and people of colour in such an underrepresented scene.
Show: The singer, 29, brought the house down at London’s 02 Arena on Saturday as he gave a stellar rendition of his number one hit
Performance: The star, who is up for four awards at this year’s ceremony, took to the stage in a red shimmering blazer and black trousers
Icon: Beyonce took home the award for International Artist of the Year, beating out the likes of Kendrik Lamar, Lizzo and Taylor Swift
‘Beyonce said it best in her Grammys speech, we all have the queer community to thank for the best genre on earth.’
Harry took home the Best Pop/R&B Award, which was presented to him by actress Salma Hayek.
The former One Direcion star said: ‘I know this was a fan voted award so to all my fans who voted thank you. I have so many wonderful memories at the BRITS so thank you for another one. It’s so good to be home.’
Host Mo Gilligan then appeared to fluff his introduction to a performance by Lewis Capaldi by calling him Sam Capaldi, however he apologised afterward, joking it was proof how strong the drinks at the BRITs are.
Thrilled: Becky Hill won the Dance Act award for the second year award and paid tribute to some of her fellow artists in her speech
Achievement: The next award, Best New Act, was won by Wet Leg with lead singer Rhian Teasdale admitting her nerves as she got on stage
The next award, Best New Act, was won by Wet Leg with lead singer Rhian Teasdale admitting her nerves as she got on stage.
She said: ‘Thank you so much. It’s really cool to be doing this on an indie label, shout out Domino. This is so scary, being on the telly can feel like such a boys club but I want to thank all the women who worked on the production. I’m so nervous so I’m going to stop now.’
After Harry’s Artist of the Year award, Fontaines DC won International Group of the Year with member Carlos O’Connell accepting.
He said: ‘It feels lonely up here. The boys are in Australia, they’re enjoying this massive tour. I had to step out, I’m having my first kid in 10 days.
‘It’s a little girl and my heart is fuller than ever, bringing life into this world. I’m happy to celebrate a friendship, to the boys who aren’t here, you’re my best friends in the world and I love you.’
‘It’s good to be home’: Harry took home the Best Pop/R&B Award, which was presented to him by actress Salma Hayek
Wet Leg were honoured with their second award of the night next, taking home th gong for Group of the Year.
Harry, Wet Leg, and Sam Smith lead this year’s nominations as the stars battle it out for the coveted awards.
All three will perform on the night, with Lizzo, Becky Hill, Cat Burns and Stormzy also storming the stage.
Music bosses came under fire, however, when the shortlist was announced last month.
In a surprise snub, female artists were shut out of the Artist Of The Year, which last year introduced a gender-neutral overhaul by scrapping its male and female-centric categories.
The first gender-neutral award was handed to Adele last year, but in her acceptance speech she pointedly told the audience: ‘ love being a woman.’
Nominated for Artist Of The Year are Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy.
Harry, Stormzy and Fred Again – real name Fred Gibson – are also up for album of the year, alongside The 1975 and indie duo Wet Leg, who are the only female act in the category.
Charli XCX, whose fifth studio album Crash topped the charts, and Florence and the Machine, whose album Dance Fever earned the singer her fourth UK number one, were notably absent.
Now, BRIT Award bosses are in talks to bring back separate categories for best male and female artist next year, after no women made the shortlist for its new gender-neutral prize.
The coveted Song Of The Year With Mastercard category will see Aitch with Baby Ft Ashanti, Cat Burns with Go, Dave with Starlight, and Ed Sheeran And Elton John with their festive hit Merry Christmas battle it out.
Also nominated are Eliza Rose And Interplanetary Criminal with Baddest Of Them All, George Ezra with Green Green Grass and Harry Styles with As It Was.
Concluding the Song Of The Year nominations are Lewis Capaldi with Forget Me, Lf System with Afraid To Feel, and Sam Smith And Kim Petras with Unholy.
Up for Group Of The Year are The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Bad Boy Chiller Crew, Nova Twins and Wet Leg, while International Group Of The Year saw nods for Black Pink, Drake And 21 Savage, First Aid Kit, Fontaines Dc and Gabriels.
Speaking after their four nods, Wet Leg said: ‘Somebody hold our horses while we get to grips with this wild news, being nominated for a BRIT award is too hard to comprehend, we never could have expected for our wee band to achieve this.’
Nominated for Alt Rock are The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Nova Twins, Tom Grennan and Wet Leg.
Stormzy has landed another nod in the Hip Hop/Grime/Rap category, competing against Aitch, Central Cee, Dave and Loyle Carner.
Becky Hill has once again landed a nomination in the Dance Act category, having previously scooped the prize last year.
She is nominated against Bonobo, Calvin Harris, Eliza Rose and Fred Again.
Elsewhere, in the International Categories, Beyonce once again reigns supreme with two nods, alongside Taylor Swift and Lizzo.
Up for International Artist Of The Year are Beyonce, Burna Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo and Taylor Swift.