Chart-topping superstar Adele won the top three prizes at the BRIT Awards on Tuesday evening, in the first genderless edition of Britain’s annual pop music honours.
Nicknamed “Queen of the BRITs” by host Mo Gilligan, the London-born singer-songwriter picked up the first award of the night – song of the year – for her chart-topping single “Easy on Me”.
The track was the first to be released from her comeback album “30”, a record Adele has said she made to explain her divorce to her young son. It won album of the year.
“I’d like to dedicate this award to my son, and to Simon, to his dad. This album was all of our journey, not just mine,” a tearful Adele said, referring to her ex-husband Simon Konecki.
“I’m very proud of myself for sticking to my guns and putting out an album that was about something that was so personal to me (because) not many people would do stuff like that any more.”
The 33-year-old also won artist of the year, a now genderless category in which rappers Little Simz and Dave, as well as singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Fender, were also nominated.
“I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman, being a female artist,” Adele said.
“I’m really proud of us.”
Following in the footsteps of other awards shows or events that have removed gender classifications, organisers for the BRITs said in November there were getting rid of female and male categories from 2022.
Returning to her hometown, Adele, who lives in Los Angeles, also performed at the ceremony.
Despite only being released in November, “30”, Adele’s fourth studio album, was Britain’s biggest selling album in 2021, shifting more than 600,000 copies in just six weeks.
The singer thanked Inflo, named producer of the year, for helping her with the record.
Other winners included rock band Wolf Alice, who took best group, while rapper Little Simz was named best new artist.
Sheeran was named songwriter of the year.
U.S. singers Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo respectively won best international artist and international song for “good 4 u”.
International group of the year went to American R&B duo Silk Sonic, made up of singer Bruno Mars and rapper and singer Anderson .Paak.
Showcasing a range of music styles, four new genre awards were also introduced this year, the 42nd edition of the awards, with Sam Fender winning best alternative/rock act and Dave named best hip-hop/grime/rap act. The best Pop/R’n’B act award went to singer Dua Lipa, while Becky Hill scooped best dance act.
All four were voted for by the public.
Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O’Brien
Photo – Adele arrives for the 42nd Brit Awards ceremony at The O2 Arena in London, Britain, 08 February 2022. The annual pop music awards are presented by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES