It was a night of upsets, pirouettes and statuettes, as the 2019 Brit Awards took place at the O2 arena.
The 1975 took home the top prize, album of the year, while George Ezra won best male and Jorja Smith grabbed best female.
But the best bits aren’t always on stage. So here’s our selection of the real winners and losers at this year’s ceremony.
Best humble-brag – Pink
“To be considered in the same category as David Bowie and the Beatles and Sir Elton and Sir Paul and Fleetwood Mac is beyond anything I can comprehend.”
Most gracious loser – Christine and the Queens
Pop star Christine & The Queens didn’t rate her chances against Cardi B and Ariana Grande in the best international female category.
So much so that she’d practiced her “gracious loser” pose ahead of the ceremony – which she displayed for us in the video above.
“To be honest,” she said, “every time I’m nominated for the Brits it already feels like I’m winning – because I’m French, baby!”
Bounciest winners – Little Mix
As the cameras panned away from the podium, Little Mix – who’d just won best video – turned to hug each other and started jumping up and down with joy. A heart-warming moment that showed just how much these awards can mean, even to seasoned professionals.
Most moving performance – Jess Glynne and H.E.R.
Jess Glynne’s Thursday is a hymn to self-acceptance that shares its DNA with TLC’s Unpretty and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful – and her staging of the song at the Brits was particularly powerful.
The singer stared down the barrel of the camera, removing her fake eyelashes and wiping off eye make-up while singing the lyrics: “I won’t wear makeup on Thursday / ‘Cause who I am is enough”.
She was soon joined by dozens of other women, including US singer H.E.R, who simultaneously removed their make-up, and stood quietly in solidarity across the stage.
In a night filled with bombastic, spectacular performances, this was the real show-stopper.
Most welcome news – Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman opened the Brits in style, playing circus impresario PT Barnum inside Britain’s largest tent – as he delivered an elaborate performance of The Greatest Show – from his hit musical The Greatest Showman.
But the star delighted fans even more by giving the strongest hint yet that the film would be getting a sequel.
“For an actor, I’m a bad liar,” he told the BBC. “I have heard talk about it but I don’t know.
“Honestly, that [the original] took eight years and you can’t underestimate how hard it is to write a new musical….
“At the same time, you’re talking to the guy who made nine Wolverine movies.”
Fingers and adamantium steel claws crossed, in that case.
Worst-kept secret – Anne-Marie
Poor old Anne-Marie was this year’s Craig David – walking away from the Brits empty-handed after receiving an impressive four nominations. But she’s had an incredible year with a gold album, two of the UK’s Top 20 best-selling singles, and a support slot on Ed Sheeran’s stadium tour.
And she’s not about to let the momentum get away from her.
“I’ve already finished my second album,” she let slip on the red carpet, “but don’t tell anyone.”
Explaining why she’d kept it under wraps, the star said: “I didn’t want anyone to hear anything about it because I felt like I was performing the first album for so long that everyone knew the songs. I wanted this album to be very different. I wanted it to be a surprise.
“I think I’ve told you too much,” she giggled. “I’m going to be in trouble.”
Sassiest diva – Sam Smith
With all those weepy break-up ballads in his catalogue, Samuel Frederick Smith doesn’t get many chances to strut his stuff on stage. So it’s no surprise he took full advantage of the opportunity to embrace his inner Madonna while performing Promises with Calvin Harris on Wednesday.
After striking a series of cover girl-worthy poses inside a blue neon box; he cavorted around the stage with model Winnie Harlow, to all intents and purposes having the night of his life.
Best collaboration – Lizzo and Lizo
Calvin Harris’s Jive Bunny megamix with Dua Lipa and Sam Smith and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man was nothing short of a triumph. But even that couldn’t compare to the moment US pop star Lizzo met her near-namesake (and Newsround legend) Lizo Mzimba on the red carpet. Watch it unfold above.
Most honest interviewee – Matthew Morrison
“I didn’t know I was coming to this,” confessed Glee star and Greatest Dancer judge Matthew Morrison on the red carpet.
“What am I looking forward to? I’ve heard there’s dinner, so I’m excited to eat something.”
Unsung heroes award – Two anonymous men with brooms
The Greatest Showman may have got the Brits off to a spectacular start; but our utmost admiration goes to the two men who had to sweep approximately 25 tons of glitter from the stage during the first ad break. Take note pop stars: That’s a proper job.
Most dress – Daniel Lismore
Standing at 6ft 4in, it’s hard to miss fashion designer Daniel Lismore at the best of times; but he was extra-noticeable on Wednesday’s red carpet thanks to an outfit we’ve christened “Punch bowl jellyfish”.
Described by Vogue Magazine as “England’s Most Eccentric Dresser”, he was also the clumsiest, and rounded off his red carpet experience by walking into a wall.
Most unlikely anecdote – Years & Years
“This is a true story,” said Years & Years star Emre Turkmen (above left). “I’m pretty sure Jarvis wore some trousers that I recommended to him on the night he got on stage with Michael Jackson.”
“I’m not lying,” he continued. “I met Jarvis on the high street as a school child – I was coming home from school on the King’s Road, I was a little fella – and I ran up to get his autograph.
“He said, ‘Do you know anywhere I can get some funky trousers?’ and I said, ‘Kensington Market’s just up the road’ and he signed me an autograph, ‘Thanks for the funky trousers, love Jarvis’.
“The next day he’s on the Brits wearing funky trousers. It’s true! I am a part of history.”
Best trophy placement – Sam Fender
Sam Fender had already endeared himself to us when he said he’d celebrate winning the Brits’ Critics’ Choice award by “going on a double decker party bus and drinking til I vomit” – but then he told us where he’d be keeping his trophy.
“On me mam’s mantlepiece in the flat back home, next to a model of a highland cow she made herself,” he explained jauntily.
“It looks like Satan and I’m going to have the Brit next to it.”