Hosted by the effervescent Davina McCall, it produced one of the most talked about pictures of the year. The image of Justin Timberlake grabbing the bottom of a demure Kylie Minogue, while the pair duetted on their rendition of Blondie’s Rapture, was beamed around the world. It summed up in an instant just what the BRITs are all about – glamour, excitement, humour and above all, incredible artists who really make a difference in the world of music.
Big winners of the evening included Coldplay, who won gongs in the British Group and British Album categories, and Robbie Williams, who received the British solo male award. Blue picked up the Best Pop award, while Ms Dynamite snared the British Urban award. Oh yes, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Norah Jones, Eminem and Pink all picked up trophies for their international efforts. It was quite an evening.
Kicking off the show and rising like a phoenix from the flames, or rather, a 20-foot crown topped off with disco balls, and surrounded by men dressed as the Queen’s guards, Pink exploded onto the stage. Within minutes the soldiers had whipped off their outfits to reveal something altogether saucier, while Pink launched into Get the Party Started. Boy, did she ever!
Elsewhere in the show, Ms Dynamite left audiences open-mouthed with her moving anti-war performance of George Michael â€˜s Faith, during which she was accompanied by a gospel choir (not to mention the songwriter himself, via the medium of huge video walls).
Also flying the flag for Britain were Coldplay, who performed a breathtaking version of Clocks amid a stage laced with strobe lights. Watching throughout was an inconspicuous Gwyneth Paltrow, who hid under a beanie hat to enjoy the moment. Until then, the Hollywood actress had been watching the show on TV in a small backstage room with her now husband Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman.
David Gray managed to silence Earls Court with a crystal clear rendition of his beautiful single The Other Side, while the Sugababes, adorned in chain mail, looked sexy, cool and very much in control as they sang their single Freak Like Me, despite being fanned by flames on the stage!
There was something for the ladies when the brilliant Blue gave electrifying performances of their tracks Riders and One Love – while dressed head to toe in black leather! They rounded off their set with flashing fireworks and demonstrated exactly why pop was such big news in 2002. And for pop punk fans, there was Avril Lavigne who got everyone rocking during her rendition of Sk8tr Boi. She ran around the stage backed by 21 drummers as only an energetic world famous teenager can, obviously having recovered from her fall during rehearsals earlier in the day.
The winner of the award for an Outstanding Contribution To Music was the gravel-voiced Welsh wonder Tom Jones. The legendary singer rounded off the evening with a rousing set which he dedicated to his mum who had sadly passed away just two weeks before the show, and his dad, saying: “They were my biggest fans and biggest supporters. They would be really pleased I’ve got this, so this is for my Mam and Dad.”
He had the entire audience on their feet as he belted out some of his greatest and best loved hits, including What’s New Pussycat, Green Green Grass Of Home and Delilah. As the proverbial curtain came down on another fantastic show, it was time to party and celebrate yet another successful night for the BRIT Awards, and for music.