The Brit Awards are back this week celebrating the best of pop music over the past year and as always, we expect it’ll be a show to remember.
This year’s ceremony will take place on Wednesday 20 February at its usual residency, London’s O2 arena, and will air on ITV1 from 8pm. However, as live TV has proven to us over and over again, not everything goes exactly to plan. In fact, there are some pretty big standout moments from the Brits throughout the years – some that have gone down in history.
From the can’t-watch cringe moments, stage accidents and drunken speeches, to the unforgettable performances and outrageous outfits, we’ve seen dozens of headline-grabbing events from the Brits. So celebrate the 2019 show, why not reminisce on some of the most memorable moments from Britain’s biggest music awards?
Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood, 1989
Back in 1989, the very inexperienced model and former page three girl Samantha Fox and Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood hosted the Brit Awards and the entire thing turned out to be a complete disaster, with cues being missed and stars being called on stage at the wrong time throughout. It was memorable to say the least.
In an interview with The Guardian years later, Sam Fox said of the night: ‘I’m still trying to get over the time when I presented the Brits. It was broadcast live and you wouldn’t believe how disorganised it was. We were given the wrong cards to announce the acts, the autocue was broken and the lady who was meant to be prompting, well I don’t want to be ageist, but I’m not sure she could hear everything that was going on.’
Freddie Mercury’s last public appearance ,1990
Queen took to the stage at the 11th annual Brit Awards in 1990 to accept their award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. The event became frontman Freddie Mercury’s last public appearance before he died on 24 November 1991 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
Jarvis Cocker gate-crashes Michael Jackson, 1996
The 1996 Brits have gone down in history as the time Pulp frontman, Jarvis Cocker tried to steal the King of Pop’s thunder during his performance of ‘Earth Song’. We know, the cheek!
Picture this, Michael Jackson is in his element, putting on the most dramatic performance of the Earth Song we’d ever seen, videos of starving children are projected on the screen while all the dancers are dressed like the cast of Les Misérables and all of a sudden, Jarvis Cocker shows up on stage and bends over on national TV.
The epic Spice Girls debut, 1997
1997, the year of the Spice Girls. Let’s be honest, no round-up of the Brits is complete with a nostalgic look back at Geri Halliwell’s iconic union jack mini dress, or that epic debut performance of ‘Wannabe’. Good times.
Chumbawamba and John Prescott’s water gate, 1998
Chumbawamba band member Danbert Nobacon threw a bucket of iced water over then Labour cabinet member John Prescott. Yes, really. Later on, the band were unapologetic, saying: ‘If John Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events like the Brit Awards in a vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy, then he deserves all we can throw at him.’
Robbie Williams vs Liam Gallagher, 2000
While picking up his award for Best Video at the 2000 Brits, Robbie Williams, who had an ongoing feud with Liam Gallagher, took the opportunity to ask the audience (and viewers at home): ‘Would anybody like to see me fight Liam? Liam: £100,000 of your money, £100,000 of mine… we’ll get in the ring and have a fight. Now are you gonna do it or p*ssy out you f*cking wimp?’
Despite continuous drama, the fight never happened.
Joss Stone’s new accent, 2007
In one of the most cringe Brit Award moments to date, British singer Joss Stone debuted a rather interesting new American accent while presenting the award for Best Male Artist. It was very hard to watch.
Adele gives James Corden the middle finger, 2012
Adele’s take-no-sh*t attitude is one of the many reason we love her, which is why her performance of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ wasn’t the only highlight of the 2012 Brit Awards. Instead, the honour is shared with the moment she threw her middle finger up at host James Corden who cut her off during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year to introduce Blur.
Madonna’s fall, 2015
In what went on to become one of the most talked (and meme’d) about in 2015, Madonna took a dramatic tumble during her live performance at the Brits – much of which she had her cape to blame for. Luckily, she was fine with no injuries but the incident is still joked about on social media. Poor thing.
Stormzy calls out Theresa May, 2018
In his debut solo performance at the Brit Awards, grime star Stormzy called out Prime Minister Theresa May for neglecting the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. In a surprise freestyle at the end of his set, he rapped: ‘Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell?’
He continued: ”What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals / And you got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages / We should burn your house down and see if you can manage this.’