On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the 40th Brit Awards were held at O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom. The ceremony was broadcasted on live television at 3:00pm EST/12:00pm PST.
The Brit Awards are distinct from other pop music award ceremonies because they recognizes British and international acts that have affected the UK with their music.
There were ten important awards handed out during the show. Male and Female Solo Artist awards were given in both British and International categories. The individual winners were: Stormzy for Male Solo Artist, Mabel for Female Solo Artist, Billie Eilish for International Female Solo Artist, Tyler, the Creator for International Male Solo Artist, Lewis Capaldi for Best New Artist, and Celeste for the Rising Star Award. Fred Again won British Producer of the Year, and Foals won Best Group. Song of the year went to Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved,” while Dave’s “Psychodrama” won Mastercard Album of the Year.
Jack Whitehall hosted the show for the third time. Also hosting with Whitehall was Clara Amfo. The Brit Awards are sponsored in large part by MasterCard, who lend their name to the Album of the Year award.
Throughout the show, there were numerous live performances. Nominees were joined by popular artists and old favorites. Mabel, Lewis Capaldi, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Dave, Billie Eilish, Finneas, Celeste, Stormzy, Burna Boy, and Rod Stewart all performed.
The Brit Awards are not as well known as some other music award shows among certain populations. Rose McCaffrey, a freshman at American International College, has some knowledge about the UK award show.
McCaffrey said, “I know that the Brit Awards are similar to the American Music Awards [AMAs] here in the states, but that’s about it.”
Some have not heard of the Brit Awards at all. Michael Carlin, a sophomore at AIC, stated, “I didn’t know about the show until this interview.”
Kristin Bakke, a sophomore at AIC, had heard of them, but like McCaffrey, has not watched them before. Bakke felt that, unlike the AMAs, the Brit Awards weren’t relevant to her.
Bakke said she watched the AMAs “because it is national. I know the musicians who are in it. I do not watch international award shows, nor do I watch international shows.”
Carlin agreed. “I would rather watch the American Music Awards than the Brit Awards.”
But the sophomore does watch international television programs. He stated, “I watch Merlin, BBC, and anime.”
McCaffrey believes that “the award shows are different because they are based on different cultures… I think it introduces new music and ideas to American citizens.”
Alternatively, Bakke thought, “International award shows do not have an impact on Americans. It is not something that is advertised appropriately, and I simply have no time.”
The lack of time was something all three students agreed on. It is hard enough keeping up on what is important to them, and they have little free time to check out programs that are not on their radar.
McCaffrey said that she “probably wouldn’t watch these awards because I’m more interested in politics than pop culture.” McCaffrey did go on YouTube though to see the live performance of Harry Styles singing “Falling.”
Carlin agreed that even if the Brit Awards were advertised more, he probably wouldn’t watch them. “People don’t have time for that,” he said, “especially us college students.”
Bakke agreed too. “If it was promoted more, I still would not watch, personally, because I have no time. However, some people may enjoy it.”
Hear the take of international students on whether the Brits matter to them