Feb 9 (AP) – Adele made a return to live performance and won three prizes at the Brit Awards in London on Tuesday, weeks after she canceled a much-anticipated string of shows in Las Vegas.
The north London-born diva was named artist of the year at the U.K.’s leading music prizes. She also took home the album of the year prize, for “30,” and won song of the year for “Easy on Me.”
Adele dedicated the award for “30,” an album forged from the breakup of her marriage, to her son Angelo and ex-husband Simon Konecki.
“This album was all of our journey, not just mine,” she said. “I am very proud of myself for sticking to my guns and putting an album out that was about something so personal to me because not many people do stuff like that any more.”
Adele delighted the home-town audience at London’s O2 Arena, sitting on a piano in a golden gown to sing “I Drink Wine.” It was her first performance since she called off a Caesar’s Palace residency at the last minute in January, citing delivery delays and coronavirus illness in her crew.
In recent years, Brits organizers have shaken up awards that had become a slick but rather bland showcase for British talent, often criticized for lacking diversity and being slow to embrace genres including British grime and hip-hop. In 2017, the academy of more than 1,000 music industry professionals that chooses Brits winners was expanded in an attempt to make it more gender balanced and diverse.
This year’s ceremony included performances by two of the U.K.’s most exciting rap artists: genre-bending singer Little Simz and powerful wordsmith Dave.
Both were also winners. Little Simz was named best new artist and Dave won the prize for best hip hop or grime act. He paid tribute to other rap artists “who have suffered for years and years and years and years and broken down so many barriers in this industry.”
The Brits is one of the few awards shows not to have been canceled in the past two years because of the pandemic. The 2020 show took place weeks before Britain went into lockdown. Last year’s awards were held in May as a test run for the return of large live events with an audience of 4,000, including health care workers given free tickets.