Music Critic Hannah Gadd provides a round-up of the 2023 Brit Awards

Written by Hannah Gadd
Images by @BRITs on Facebook

The 2023 Brit Awards was a great celebration of music in a night full of awards and grand performances. Mo Gilligan, hosted the Awards for the second year running at the celebrity-packed O2 Arena in London. The comedian, whilst having the occasional slip-up, did a great job overall as part of the ceremony. The star-studded lineup of guests included Stanley Tucci, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Daisy May Cooper who presented winners with their respective awards.

Performances from some of the biggest names in modern music were definitely a highlight of the evening. Harry Styles opened the show with a simple yet charismatic performance of his popular track ‘As It Was’ followed by Wet Leg’s contrastingly earthy, abstract performance of ‘Chaise Longue’. Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy and Cat Burns also gave remarkable performances before David Guetta hit the stage to close the show. The French DJ gave an electric performance featuring vocal powerhouses Becky Hill, Ella Henderson and Sam Ryder in an epic medley.

However, it is the awards themselves which gives us this ceremony and sparks conversation surrounding the winners and nominees each and every year.

MasterCard Album of the Year

Harry Styles unsurprisingly took this coveted award (one of four of the night) making him the most decorated artist this year. The singer prevailed against other huge names such as The 1975 and Stormzy and earned him his sixth lifetime Brit Award.

Artist of the Year

This disappointingly male-dominated category was also won by Styles who in his acceptance speech paid tribute to female British artists: ‘I’m really, really grateful for this and I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight, so this award is for Rina [Sawayama], Charli [XCX], Florence, Mabel and Becky [Hill], thank you so much.’ Whilst Styles has had an undeniably successful year, the category unfortunately excluded high-profile female and non-binary artists.

Best Group

Best Group was won by Wet Leg who took many viewers by surprise as they triumphed over hugely popular bands The 1975 and Arctic Monkeys. It would have been great to see rock duo Nova Twins take this award however it was still inspiring to see a female-led band receive the title nevertheless.

Song of the Year

This category was abundant with viral hits making it difficult to predict a winner, yet it was Harry Styles once again who led the pack with ‘As It Was’, scoring a hat trick of awards with this smash hit. Shania Twain presented Styles with his third reward of the night before the singer announced ‘(this) song was the most fun I've ever had making music’.

Best International Artist

Beyoncé scooped the award for Best International Artist beating serious names such as Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Kendrick Lamar. In her acceptance speech the pop superstar expressed her gratitude as she thanks her British fans for their continuous support.

Best International Group

The nominee list for Best International Group was probably the most varied out of all the categories; with groups from Drake and 21 Savage to First Aid Kit, it was hard to compare their successes. I did think Blackpink were going to take the win however it was Fontaines D.C. who deservingly picked up the award.

Best International Song

Best International Song saw a star-studded group of nominees with insanely popular tracks. Hits from Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti- Hero’ to ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ from Disney’s Encanto were up for the award but it was Beyonce who claimed her second win of the night with ‘Break My Soul’.

Best New Artist

The nominees for Best New Artist were fiercely strong this year and it was Wet Leg who came out on top. Personally, I would have liked to see Rina Sawayama take the win. With Sawayama’s efforts in changing the citizenship criteria required to be considered as a Brits nominee alongside the amazing year she has had career-wise, it would have been great to see her crowned as Best New Artist.

Best Alternative/Rock

The 1975 were victorious in this category giving the band their fourth ever Brit Award. After their extraordinary album cycle and the immense touring schedule of their carefully crafted live show, I believe The 1975 deserved the award for Best Alternative/Rock.

Best Dance

Becky Hill was emotional as she accepted this award for the second year running. In her speech she praised her fellow nominees and quoted Beyonce to thank the queer community for the ‘best genre on Earth’.

Best Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap
Aitch, Central Cee, Dave, Loyle Carner and Stormzy were up against each-other for this award with Aitch taking the win. After a wave of popular songs from Aitch in the past year, he definitely deserved to take the win despite the immense competition.

Best Pop/R&B

Harry Styles claimed another win this time for Best Pop/R&B against artists such as Sam Smith and Dua Lipa. Personally, I would have liked to see Charli XCX receive the award after the exceptional year she has had but Harry Styles’ recent success is still indisputable.

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