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Just as the BAFTA Awards are the UK's equivalent of the Oscars, the Brit Awards are the UK version of the Grammys. They first took place in 1977 as part of the commemorations of the Queen's Silver Jubilee and became a yearly event from 1982.
Those first awards may have taken place in 1977 but the top winners on the night were the Beatles who won three awards. That included Best Album of the Year for Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band.
After that five year gap, the awards returned in 1982 with Adam and the Ants winning Best Album and 'Tainted Love' by Soft Cell the best single. John Lennon was given the outstanding contribution to British music award. Between 1982 and 1987 the awards were still known as the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) Awards with big winners including Paul McCartney, Prince, Culture Club and Michael Jackson. All those ceremonies were held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London
The Brit Awards were shown live on television until 1989 and then came the disasters known as Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood. Their presenting was an absolute nightmare though unintentionally hilarious. Mistakes galore and the fact Fleetwood was much taller than Fox made the whole evening a disaster and it wasn't until 2007 that the awards were shown live again.
The Brits have become famous for some bizarre happenings. In 1987 the award ceremony was interrupted by protestors as the event continued despite a BBC electricians strike. The organisers used a non-TV events production company called Upfront to manage the show. They were asked to do so again the following year and it was this that led to the ceremony being staged at much larger venues.
Who could forget the 1996 ceremony when Jarvis Cocker got on stage uninvited as Michael Jackson was performing 'Earth Song.' Danbert Nobacon from Chumbawamba also hit the headlines when he threw a bucket of iced water over Labour cabinet minister John Prescott.
In recent years, Sharon Osbourne wrongly accused Vic Reeves of being drunk while presenting an award. In 2012 James Corden found himself being taken off Adele's Christmas card list after he interrupted her speech due to time running out. Then in 2015 Madonna topped that as she fell off the stage while performing live.Back to Top