Brit Awards 2018: From Stormzy To Ed Sheeran - A Definitive Ranking Of This Year's Performances
The Brit Awards has a long history of creating performances people talk about for years to come, and 2018 has certainly proved to be no different.
With a range of British and American artists spanning completely different genres taking to the stage during Wednesday (21 February) night’s ceremony, there was something on offer for everyone - but who stood out and who failed to shine?
Here’s our definitive ranking of this year’s offerings, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments if you disagree...
1. Stormzy - ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt. II’ / ‘Big For Your Boots’
While Stormzy showcased two of his biggest hits as he closed this year’s ceremony, the moment of the night came as he took aim at took aim at Theresa May, institutionalised racism and the Daily Mail in a new rap inserted in the middle of the medley.
This year’s Brits belonged to Stormzy, and it if two awards were not proof enough, this performance certainly was.
2. Dua Lipa - ‘New Rules’
Having bagged the most nominations any artist this year (and indeed the largest number of any British Female in Brits history), expectations were high as Dua Lipa took to the stage to perform her trademark hit.
Luckily, she more than delivered, as she paid homage to her video - which is still undoubtedly he best of 2017, no matter what Brits Best Video voters may have thought (sorry Harry Styles).
3. Rita Ora - ‘Your Song’ / ‘Anywhere’ / ‘For You’ (ft. Liam Payne)
After such a strong six months, it felt only right that Rita should not perform only two songs, but three, although we’d have still been happy to hear ‘Anywhere’ all the way through.
And as much as Liam Payne was a somewhat unwelcome addition to proceedings (can’t we just let this incredible woman have her moment?), their duet on the ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ soundtrack provided a big talking point of the night - although that might have been Cheryl Tweedy’s fault.
4. Liam Gallagher - ‘Live Forever’
In the ceremony’s most poignant moment, bosses took time out to remember the victims of the Manchester bombings last year, with Manchester-native Liam taking to the stage to perform an Oasis classic in their memory.
Ariana Grande had originally been scheduled to perform, having arranged the One Love Manchester concert, but had to pull out due to illness. However, this was more than a fitting way for the Brits to pay tribute.
5. Foo Fighters - ‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’
Speaking of performances that drew on the concept of their videos, Foo Fighters took to the Brits stage for the first time ever with ‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’ complete with a hastily built ski lodge and pine forest, it what was one of the most visually impressive moments of the evening.
The rockers were on top form as usual, and finally brought some much-need energy into proceedings.
6. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man & Jorja Smith - ‘Skin’
As the winner of this year’s Critics Choice award, Jorja Smith more than deserved her own solo spot on the bill, but then again, we do love an old fashioned Brits duet.
While it wasn’t in any danger of topping the classic collaborations of yesteryear (Rihanna and Klaxons, this was not), their voices melted together beautifully.
7. Sam Smith - ‘Way Too Good At Goodbyes’
To be honest, if we were Sam Smith, we don’t know if we’d have bothered even turning up to this year’s Brits - let alone even perform at it - after he was snubbed so royally snubbed in the nominations.
However, his stellar vocal as he took to the stage was a real two fingers up at those who’d failed to include him in any of the categories he was eligible for.
8. Kendrick Lamar - ‘While Rich’
Tbh, we were so distracted trying to work out what exactly was going on at the start of the performance (sound problems or just art?) that it kind of distracted us from the rest of it.
We’re sure it was probably very good, but our lasting memory is one of a perfectly nice car being smashed up for no apparent reason.
Side note: ITV, please stop muting audio after the watershed - we’re all grown ups.
9. Justin Timberlake - ‘Midnight Summer Jam’ / ‘Say Something’
While we’d have expected the big US signing to feature later on into the line-up, Justin had the honour of kicking off this year’s show.
We’d love to say he did so in style, given this was the man who delivered one of the most iconic performances in Brits history back in 2003 (with a little help from Kylie Minogue, of course), but if we’re being honest, his duet with Chris Stapleton felt flat for the curtain-raiser.
10. Ed Sheeran - ‘Supermarket Flowers’
We don’t wish to be a Debbie downer as he’s obviously hugely popular, but could Ed’s performance have been any more predictable?
But as Jack Whitehall joked earlier in the evening, at least he didn’t perform ‘Galway Girl’, eh?