Published On: Wed, May 12th, 2021

BRIT Awards 2021: Michelle Obama shocks fans with a surprise appearance

She’s known for nonprofit work and former position as First Lady of the United States. 

And Michelle Obama shocked fans with a surprise appearance at the Brit Awards on Tuesday night in a chic V-neck gown. 

The 57-year-old attended the ceremony via video call to present The Weeknd, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, with the award for International Male Solo Artist. 

Unexpected guest: Michelle Obama shocked fans with a surprise appearance at the Brit Awards on Tuesday night in a chic V-neck gown

Beamed onto a screen in the O2 Arena in London, Michelle told the audience and viewers at home: ‘He [Abel] has made his impact not just on stage and in our earbuds…

‘He has also donated millions to Covid Relief and Black Lives Matter. He’s helped feed those displaced by violence in Ethiopia, he’s funded assistance for survivors of the explosion in Lebanon…

‘So, lets just say in a tough year he’s provided a light that’s pretty blinding and given us all a reason to dance. 

‘I am proud to announce that the winner of the International Male Solo Artist is The Weeknd.’

Winner: She attended the ceremony via video call to present The Weeknd, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, with the award for International Male Solo Artist (pictured in February)

Winner: She attended the ceremony via video call to present The Weeknd, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, with the award for International Male Solo Artist (pictured in February) 

The Blinding Lights hitmaker had just treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his single Save Your Tears, pre-recorded from the US, in a large hat. 

Unable to accept the award in person, the footage then returned to Abel who said: ‘My people in Ethiopia who are suffering – you are deep in my heart. 

‘For everyone watching, please help where you can,’ he added. 

Artist: The Blinding Lights hitmaker had just treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his single Save Your Tears, pre-recorded from the US, in a large hat

Artist: The Blinding Lights hitmaker had just treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his single Save Your Tears, pre-recorded from the US, in a large hat

Meanwhile, Michelle fans on Twitter were gobsmacked that the former First Lady had taken on a role in the awards ceremony. 

‘Oh my days!! Michelle Obama on Brits. I cannot believe my eyes. Almost as good as that time Stormzy was on it singing under that shower,’ wrote one. 

‘The Weeknd delivered an amazing performance then got given his award by the Michelle Obama ?!?! A legend of our time!!!’ added another.  

'I cannot believe my eyes': Michelle Obama fans on Twitter were gobsmacked that the former First Lady had taken on a role in the awards ceremony

‘I cannot believe my eyes’: Michelle Obama fans on Twitter were gobsmacked that the former First Lady had taken on a role in the awards ceremony

In an explosion of colour and optimism, the 2021 Brit Awards celebrated the achievements of British and international artists over the last 18 months.

The awards ceremony truly belonged to Dua Lipa, 25, as the evening saw her scoop the accolade for Female Solo Artist and the Mastercard British Album of the Year Award for her lockdown hit Future Nostalgia.

This year’s Rising Star award winner Griff was handed the baton for the honour by 2020’s Rising Star winner Celeste, who herself was up for three further awards this year.

'He's provided a light that's pretty blinding and given us all a reason to dance': Michelle thanked The Weeknd for his selfless donations to Covid Relief and Black Lives Matter

‘He’s provided a light that’s pretty blinding and given us all a reason to dance’: Michelle thanked The Weeknd for his selfless donations to Covid Relief and Black Lives Matter

And Arlo Parks was crowned Breakthrough Artist, one of the three awards she was nominated for, after what has been an incredible year for the young London artist.

She also made her debut BRITs performance with an elegant rendition of ‘Hope’ and decorated the set as a sunflower field in a nod to the name of her debut album.

The most nominated girl band in Brit Award history, Little Mix finally bagged the title of British Group, having been up for the award three previous times.

Meanwhile, the International Group category followed a similar suit, with the California’s girl band HAIM in attendance to accept their award.

And the accolade for International Female was given to the 19-year-old Bad Guy hitmaker Billie Eilish, who accepted the award via a pre-recorded video acceptance speech. 

On home ground, Dem Boy Paigon hitmaker JHUS scooped the Male Solo Artist award, which was accepted on his behalf by DJ Semtex in his absence.

Following a successful awards season stateside, the One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles scooped the Brit for British Single with his summertime anthem Watermelon Sugar.

The first female artist to win the highest BRITs accolade and the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date, Taylor Swift appeared in person to accept the special Global Icon award, which was presented by Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.

Each winner was presented with the Brit’s first ever collaborative double-trophy, designed by Es Devlin OBE and Yinka Ilori MBE, with each recipient encouraged to re-gift the smaller trophy to someone else.

BRIT AWARD WINNERS 2021

FEMALE SOLO ARTIST 

ARLO PARKS

CELESTE 

DUA LIPA – WINNER

JESSIE WARE 

 LIANNE LA HAVAS

MALE SOLO ARTIST 

AJ TRACEY

HEADIE ONE 

J HUS – WINNER

JOEL CORRY 

YUNGBLUD

BRITISH GROUP 

BICEP

BIFFY CLYRO 

LITTLE MIX – WINNER

THE 1975 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY

BRITs RISING STAR 

GRIFF WARNER – WINNER

PA SALIEU

RINA SAWAYAMA 

MASTERCARD ALBUM 

ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS 

CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE 

DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA – WINNER

J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY

JESSIE WARE WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? 

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

BTS 

D.C. PARTISAN 

FOO FIGHTERS 

HAIM – WINNER

RUN THE JEWELS

RISING STAR

Griff

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST 

ARLO PARKS – WINNER

BICEP 

CELESTE 

JOEL CORRY 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY

BRITISH SINGLE

220 KID & GRACEY DON’T NEED LOVE

AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN 

DUA LIPA PHYSICAL

HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR – WINNER 

HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN’T IT DIFFERENT 

JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART

NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER

REGARD & RAYE SECRETS 

S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE 

YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON’T RUSH

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST 

ARIANA GRANDE

BILLIE EILISH – WINNER

CARDI B

MILEY CYRUS 

TAYLOR SWIFT 

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN  

BURNA BOY 

CHILDISH GAMBINO 

TAME IMPALA FICTION

THE WEEKND – WINNER

GLOBAL ICON

Taylor Swift  

 

The 2021 BRIT Awards, hosted by Jack Whitehall, marked the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses released 2,500 free tickets to key workers.

The show saw a total of 11 awards handed out alongside nine unbeatable show-stopping performances, six of which were able to be staged live in stadium.

The show officially opened with fireworks and a UK exclusive performance by Coldplay of their new song Higher Power from the River Thames.

The BRITs is known for its unique collaborations and this year was no different, with Elton John and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander joining forces for a spectacular performance of the Pet Shop Boys’ classic It’s A Sin. 

The recorded version of the song will now be available to purchase as a single in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation charity.

A second collaboration saw Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk perform their new single Anywhere Away from Here, with P!nk joining remotely from the US.

And the musical duo were joined by special guest singers from the Greenwich and Lewisham NHS Trust Choir, providing an emotional climax to the show.

Another US star who made it to The O2 was Olivia Rodrigo who lit up the stage with a performance of her stunning hit single, Drivers Licence.

Live music: The 2021 Brit Awards marked the first major indoor music event in over a year with performances from a plethora of artists, including The Weeknd's remote appearance

Live music: The 2021 Brit Awards marked the first major indoor music event in over a year with performances from a plethora of artists, including The Weeknd’s remote appearance 

Twice nominated Headie One also blew the audience away with a special performance of Ain’t It Different/Princess Cuts, joined by fellow nominees AJ Tracey and Young T & Bugsey.

Presenters on the night included: Annie Mac, Boy George, Celeste, Lewis Capaldi, Kurupt FM and Mabel.

The event was Co-Chaired by Rebecca Allen (President EMI Records) and Selina Webb (EVP Universal Music UK), who oversaw the creative team which along with Devlin and Ilori also included BRITs TV Executive Producer Sally Wood.

The BRIT Awards took place in front of a live audience of 4,000 people at London’s The O2 six days before the next phase of lockdown lifts.

The ceremony, which was broadcasted live on ITV, celebrated the return to live music and Dua Lipa promised those attending that it would ‘be a night to remember’. 

The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme, and used enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.

Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, The BRITs was the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, with 4,000 tickets being up for grabs – just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity

The BRITs played an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions.

Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the arena, but were required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees had to have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue.

As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, attendees were also asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

How are the BRIT Awards going ahead during the Covid pandemic?

The 2021 BRIT Awards mark the first live music event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The indoor ceremony and live show will form part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme.

Enhanced testing approaches will examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.  

4,000 tickets were made available for the live ceremony, just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity, with 2,500 of those being given to key workers. 

The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions. 

Audience members will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated inside the arena, though they will be required in communal areas such as the toilet or main concourse.

All attendees will be allowed to purchase alcohol and concessions once inside the O2 Arena.

Attendees will also be required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.

Among the rules, attendees must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and said test must be taken at an asymptomatic testing site within 36 hours of the ceremony.

Upon arrival at the venue, all attendess will be asked to take a PCR test, and will then take another test five days after the ceremony 

It’s hoped this will gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

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