View this post on Instagram
The annual Brit Awards took place in London last night. One of the highlights was a duet between Elton John and Years and Years, aka singer and actor Olly Alexander.
The two gay stars performed a reworked cover of the Pet Shop Boys classic, ‘It’s A Sin’. Olly recently starred in the TV show of the same name, which took a fictional look back at the emergence of AIDS in the UK in the 1980s.
The performance began with Olly, in a crop top and red cape, lying on the top of Elton’s grand piano, accompanied only by the legend on the keys. However, after the first chorus, the electronic beats kicked in and the performance kicked up several gears.
Afterward, the song was made immediately available on streaming services, with proceeds being donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). Founded in 1992, EJAF has raised over $450million toward fighting HIV and helping those impacted by the virus.
Online, many praised the surprise performance.
Wow! I got quite tearful watching that performance of #ItsASin by @eltonofficial and @alexander_olly. I felt like they were doing it for all those who lost their lives to AIDS – and they really did them proud! 🏳️🌈#brits2021
— Matt Cain (@MattCainWriter) May 11, 2021
thoughts after the #itsasin gay rights extravaganza … elton and olly flirting was hot, we should all wear capes, when the beat dropped I was living, elton’s cuffs are cute. I kept thinking of all the young queer people watching at home that are finally seeing themselves ❤️
— James Barr (@imjamesbarr) May 11, 2021
— Hannah 💙 (@hm_quigley) May 11, 2021
The Brits – the UK music industry’s annual big awards show – was notable for several reasons. It was the country’s first large-scale indoor event in over a year, with a limited audience of 4,000 thanks to the successful rollout of the country’s vaccine program.
Most of the audience invited to attend were frontline workers, who all had to have a negative Covid test in advance.
Last night’s winners were also heavily slanted toward women after The Brits faced criticism last year for a severe lack of female nominees.
The big winner of the night was Dua Lipa, who won the Brit for Female Solo Artist and Best British Album for Future Nostalgia. She was among those to perform at the show, kicking things off with an eye-popping medley of hits.
Little Mix won Best Group (the first all-female band to do so in the event’s history), and Haim won for Best International Group. Billie Eilish won the Brit award for international female and Taylor Swift became the first woman to win the Global Icon Award.
Among the male winners, London rapper J Hus won the British Male Brit award and Harry Styles won Single of the Year for ‘Watermelon Sugar’. The Weeknd won the Brit for International Male, with his award being announced via a video message from Michelle Obama.