The BRIT Awards 2016 ceremony successfully concluded on February 24 at The O2 Arena in London. While the main focus was to honour the achievements of British artists with colourful bespoke statues, we can’t deny this year’s highlights centred on the crowd-wowing live performances that put those from the Grammys to shame. Here are the five top performances you cannot miss.
Rihanna ft. Drake – “Consideration” / “Work”
We can finally cry in happy tears seeing Rihanna perform her new single after her last-minute Grammys cancellation. Beside the absolutely stunning lights and staging Rihanna’s voice was on point despite still recovering from vocal cords sickness; the one who needed to “work” more was her surprise guest Drake. Though our guess is everyone forgot everything when the two got their NSFW moves on.
Jess Glynne – “Ain’t Got Far To Go” / “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” / “Hold My Hand”
Before Adele reclaimed her throne last October, Jess Glynne had easily been the female voice of 2015 in Brit pop. From bird-eye view, the British Female Solo Artist nominee’s stunning medley performance started with her in standing at the centre of dancers moving in a synchronised circular routine. If anyone had happened to be falling asleep during whatever it was Ant & Dec were doing, they’re up and chirpy again as Glynne bellowed her hits.
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself” (ft. James Bay) / “Sorry”
Give it to the BRIT Awards and the O2 Arena to set the stage to Bieber’s Purpose era’s best performance yet. The International Male Solo Artist winner delivered a low key but solid bonfire-by-the-beach performance of “Love Yourself” (our hats off to James “Bae” for his contribution) before going on to end the segment with a tropical bang that is “Sorry”. We’re pretty sure we’ve seen a stage set on fire before (re: Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys) but Bieber nailed it in his own right.
James Bay – “Hold Back the River”
James Bay sure showed them what it is to be this year’s British Male Solo Artist. Not long after winning his second Brit award and playing acoustic guitar for the Biebs’ “Sorry” performance, Bay powered his biggest hit “Hold Back the River” off the album Chaos and the Calm.
Lorde ft. David Bowie’s original backing band – Guitar medley / “Life on Mars”
Duncan Jones has finally given his seal of approval to one tribute performance for his late father and it’s Lorde’s surprise cover—as opposed to Gaga’s extravagant Grammys homage. But that’s not why we think it’s the best performance of the night. It’s never the matter of “who’s done it better”; Lorde only showed us this is another way of honouring the beloved icon: with poignant and earnest simplicity. Whatever she sang, we sang with her. Whatever she felt, we felt with her.