Little Mix used their historic BRIT Awards speech to pay tribute to Jesy Nelson, the Spice Girls and to call out “white male dominance” in the industry.
Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall beat Bicep, Biffy Clyro, The 1975 and Young T & Bugsey to take home the British Group award at Tuesday night’s BRIT Awards (11 May). They became the first ever all-female band to win the award.
Taking to the stage, Edwards said: “Oh my goodness, guys, we have just made history. This is insane! I’m really emotional.”
Little Mix touched on the misogyny and sexism they have faced in their careers in a wide-ranging speech, which they wrote together.
“We have been together for 10 years – can I just say, 10 years! – it’s been the best years of our life, we have gone through so much, we’ve had so much fun, made so many beautiful memories,” Pinnock said.
The group went on to thank former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson and paid tribute to their fans.
Pinnock continued: “It’s not easy being a female in the UK pop industry. We’ve seen the white male dominance, misogyny, sexism, and lack of diversity.
“We’re proud of how we’ve stuck together, stood our ground, surrounded ourselves with strong women and are now using our voices more than ever.”
Little Mix dedicated BRIT Award to the girls groups that paved the way
Thirlwall said: “The fact that a girl band has never won this award really does speak volumes. So this award isn’t just for us, it’s for the Spice Girls, Sugababes, All Saints, Girls Aloud, all of the incredible female bands, this one’s for you.”
The Spice Girls and Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud were among the high-profile trailblazers who heaped praise on Little Mix for their history-making victory on Twitter, with Nelson also celebrating her former bandmates’ victory.
Tuesday evening’s BRIT Awards ceremony was the first large-scale indoor event held in the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Elton John and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander gave the performance of the night with a moving rendition of Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin”.
Dua Lipa also caused a stir with her acceptance speeches, which she used to call for an NHS pay rise. Lipa also paid tribute to Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, the emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London, as well as Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, the 20-year-old who died after jumping into the Thames to save a woman.
The event went ahead as part of a government-led research initiative to determine how crowds can safely return to events despite the lingering threat of COVID-19.
Dua Lipa, J Hus, Alro Parks, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Haim, Taylor Swift and Griff were among the big winners on the night.