As we said goodbye to the Noughties, the 2010 BRITs was also saying farewell to Earl's Court – the iconic venue was set to be bulldozed and the ceremony would move to the O2 Arena from the following year.
But the greatest and wildest of the music biz certainly saw the place off in style. Presented by comedian Peter Kay, BRITs 2010 was the 30th edition of the show, and included some special awards for British Album of 30 Years and, even more excitingly, Best Live Performance of 30 Years.
The show opened with Lily Allen descending from the sky on the back of a huge black rocket, performing her second Number 1 single The Fear. Along with Lady Gaga, Pixie Lott, JLS and Florence and the Machine, Lily had the most nominations with three nods – would she go home empty-handed as she did in 2007? (Spoiler: no.)
Lily had NO fear with her pink parachutists. Image: Richard Young/Shutterstock
Samantha Fox, who co-presented the anarchic 1989 ceremony that has gone down in TV folkore as a camp classic, presented the Spice Girls with the best live performance of the last 30 years for their showstopping, Union Flag dress-featuring routine to Who Do You Think You Are from 1997. Mel B and Geri represented the rest of the band.
Onto the male awards next, and British winner, presented by Andy Serkis, who at the time was starring in Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, went to Dizzee Rascal – the rapper had notched up three huge Number 1s in the last year, kicking off with the Calvin Harris collab Dance Wiv Me.
JLS performed Beat Again before Mel B was whisked back on stage to present the International Male to Jay-Z, who thanked the Spice Girls for inspiring him. Oh yes!
The award for British Album of 30 Years was next, with Slade frontman Noddy holder announcing Oasis's second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory as the winner. Only Liam Gallagher came to accept the award – the band had broken up the previous year after a series of rows, including one where Liam allegedly threw a plum at brother Noel.
British group nominees Kasabian took to the stage with Fire, followed by Geri Halliwell returning to hand JLS the award for British Breakthrough, beating La Roux and Florence and the Machine, and then… it was time for Mother Monster.
Lady Gaga was deeply affected by the death of her friend, the designer Alexander McQueen, and dedicated her emotional, raw, and fairly sparse performance of Telephone to him, before switching up a gear for Dance in the Dark, both songs taken from The Fame Monster.
Critics' Choice had already been announced, of course, as is custom, but winner Ellie Goulding's time to shine came when Courtney Love officially presented her with her statuette. Kasabian took the British group gong from Idris Elba, before Lady Gaga won her first award of the night for International Breakthrough.
Flo and Diz do the biz. Image: Andy Paradise/AP/Shutterstock
It's not the BRITs without a medley, and on mashup duties this year was Florence and the Machine with Dizzee rascal, who performed a new arrangement of their cover of The Source feat Candi Staton's classic You Got The Love and Dizzee's Dirtee Cash. Renamed You Got the Dirtee Love, it was a huge hit, peaking at number 2 the weeks after the show.
TV presenter and chat show don Jonathan Ross dressed up as a rapper (no one knows why) to present the award for International Female, which was claimed by Lady Gaga, her second award of the night, and British Female was presented by Dame Shirley Bassey went to Lily Allen, who by now was wearing a big orange wig. Well, why not? When you're a winner, you can do what you want!
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed their showstopping collaboration Empire State of Mind, before Mika presented the International Album award to… yep, Lady Gaga, giving the star a 100% conversion rate from nomination to win – three nods, three statuettes!
Spoiling for a fight, it's Cheryl. Image: Andy Paradise/AP/Shutterstock
Former Girl Aloud Cheryl Cole (as she was then) made her solo BRITs debut with million-selling Fight For This Love, wowing the crowd with a costume change halfway through the performance. JLS then won the British Single Award for their debut track Beat Again, their second win of the night – it was emotional!
JLYes! The boys took home two statuettes that night. Image: David Fisher/Shutterstock
In the home strait now, and Florence and the Machine made up for earlier defeats by taking home the British Album award for Lungs, presented to them by designer Tom Ford who was in the UK promoting his directorial debut A Single Man.
The show closed with a medley to end all medleys, from Outstanding Contribution winner Robbie Williams, who rattled through 13 of his greatest hits and fan faves, including Millennium, Angels, and Rock DJ, before ending on cult fave Rudebox.
And that was a wrap!
The full list of winners and nominees for the 2010 BRIT Awards:
|British Breakthrough Act||Florence & The Machine|
|British Breakthrough Act||Friendly Fires|
|British Breakthrough Act||JLS (WINNER)|
|British Breakthrough Act||La Roux|
|British Breakthrough Act||Pixie Lott|
|British Female Solo Artist||Bat For Lashes|
|British Female Solo Artist||Florence & The Machine|
|British Female Solo Artist||Leona Lewis|
|British Female Solo Artist||Lily Allen (WINNER)|
|British Female Solo Artist||Pixie Lott|
|British Group||Friendly Fires|
|British Group||Kasabian (WINNER)|
|British Male Solo Artist||Calvin Harris|
|British Male Solo Artist||Dizzee Rascal (WINNER)|
|British Male Solo Artist||Mika|
|British Male Solo Artist||Paolo Nutini|
|British Male Solo Artist||Robbie Williams|
|British Producer of the Year||Ethan Jones|
|British Producer of the Year||Jim Abbiss|
|British Producer of the Year||Paul Epworth (WINNER)|
|British Producer of the Year||Steve Lillywhite|
|British Single||Alesha Dixon||Breathe Slow|
|British Single||Alexandra Burke ft. Flo Rida||Bad Boys|
|British Single||Cheryl Cole||Fight For This Love|
|British Single||JLS (WINNER)||Beat Again|
|British Single||Joe McElderry||The Climb|
|British Single||La Roux||In For The Kill|
|British Single||Lily Allen||The Fear|
|British Single||Pixie Lott||Mama Do|
|British Single||Taio Cruz||Break Your Heart|
|British Single||Tinchy Stryder ft. N-Dubz||Number 1|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Coldplay||A Rush Of Blood To The Head|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Dido||No Angel|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Dire Straits||Brothers In Arms|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Duffy||Rockferry|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Keane||Hopes & Fears|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Oasis (WINNER)||(What's The Story) Morning Glory?|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Phil Collins||No Jacket Required|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Sade||Diamond Life|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||The Verve||Urban Hymns|
|BRITs Album of 30 Years||Travis||The Man Who|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Bee Gees||Stayin' Alive/How Deep Is Your Love (1997)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Bros||I Owe You Nothing (1989)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Coldplay||Clocks (2003)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Eurythmics & Stevie Wonder||Angel (1999)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Girls Aloud||The Promise (2009)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Kanye West||Gold Digger (2006)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Kylie Minogue||Can't Get You Out Of My Head (2002)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Michael Jackson||Earth Song (1996)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Paul McCartney||Live & Let Die (2008)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Pet Shop Boys||Go West (1994)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Robbie Williams & Tom Jones||The Full Monty Medley (1998)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Scissor Sisters||Take Your Mama (2005)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Spice Girls (WINNER)||Who Do You Think You Are (1997)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||Take That||Beatles Medley I Wanna Hold Your Hand/Hard Day's Night/She Loves Me (1994)|
|BRITs Performance of 30 Years||The Who||Who Are You (1988)|
|Critics' Choice||Ellie Goulding (WINNER)|
|Critics' Choice||Marina & The Diamonds|
|International Album||Animal Collective||Merriweather Post Pavilion|
|International Album||Black Eyed Peas||The E.N.D.|
|International Album||Empire Of The Sun||Walking On A Dream|
|International Album||Jay-Z||The Blueprint 3|
|International Album||Lady Gaga (WINNER)||The Fame|
|International Breakthrough Act||Animal Collective|
|International Breakthrough Act||Daniel Merriweather|
|International Breakthrough Act||Empire Of The Sun|
|International Breakthrough Act||Lady Gaga (WINNER)|
|International Breakthrough Act||Taylor Swift|
|International Female Solo Artist||Lady Gaga (WINNER)|
|International Female Solo Artist||Ladyhawke|
|International Female Solo Artist||Norah Jones|
|International Female Solo Artist||Rihanna|
|International Female Solo Artist||Shakira|
|International Male Solo Artist||Bruce Springsteen|
|International Male Solo Artist||Eminem|
|International Male Solo Artist||Jay-Z (WINNER)|
|International Male Solo Artist||Michael Bublé|
|International Male Solo Artist||Seasick Steve|
|MasterCard British Album of the Year||Dizzee Rascal||Tongue n Cheek|
|MasterCard British Album of the Year||Florence & The Machine (WINNER)||Lungs|
|MasterCard British Album of the Year||Kasabian||West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum|
|MasterCard British Album of the Year||Lily Allen||It's Not Me, It's You|
|MasterCard British Album of the Year||Paolo Nutini||Sunny Side Up|
Article image: Rex/Shutterstock