BRIT Awards 2014: Beyonce Surprises Again, David Bowie Pleas, Arctic Monkeys Make Peace
4:10 PM PST 2/19/2014 by Ashley Lee
James Corden hosted the U.K. music awards show for the fifth and final time on Feb. 19, with Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Lorde, Pharrell Williams, Disclosure, Bastille and more taking London's O2 Arena stage.
The BRIT Awards immediately turned up the heat with a kickoff performance by the Arctic Monkeys, who took the O2 Arena stage in London on Wednesday to perform "R U Mine?" — possibly as a gesture to the awards show itself, as the band has had a controversial history with the Brits. Frontman Alex Turner wore a green blazer with his hair slicked back, and sang out into the crowd that found themselves around a giant A and M, each lit by fire.
Prince presented the British female solo award with his "funk 'n' roll" band, 3RDEYEGIRL, all dressed in plenty of leather and fringe. Host James Corden interrupted his mic time to take a selfie with the singer.
British Female Solo Artist
Ellie Goulding won the first award of the evening for British female solo artist.
Katy Perry's trip across the pond had her looking on the bright side of things, as the singer opted for neon when she performed "Dark Horse" (as opposed to the gothic staging at the Grammys). With Sphinx statues, glowing helmets and a decorated chariot, Perry was aglow while wearing a Cleopatra-like bob and leading her dancers in Egyptian-influenced moves.
Bruno Mars won the international male solo artist award for the second time, over Drake, Eminem, Josh Grant and Justin Timberlake. "We love coming out here, we love performing for you all," Mars said, highlighting how many big names were nominated in the category.
Just after winning the award for international male solo artist, Bruno Mars celebrated by performing "Treasure." He kept things casual onstage in a black leather jacket, cap and lace-ups, but added a few well-harmonized vocal interludes to the song bridge, while reprising the song's vintage-style choreography.
One Direction won the Global Success award for the second time, but only four members of the band were initially present to accept the accolade. Harry Styles later ran onstage, saying, "I'm really sorry, I was having a wee, the toilets are ages away. What did we win?" Host James Corden also caught the band off-guard by asking them to give Justin Bieber advice.
The always-surprising singer was confirmed to perform just before the show began, but the secret was worth keeping, as Beyonce performed "XO" for a televised audience for the first time. "I'd like to dedicate this song to my incredible fans — I love y'all," she said. "Sing along with me tonight!"
Lorde and Disclosure paired for an enticingly upbeat version of the New Zealander's breakout hit "Royals" before segueing into the U.K. electronic duo's single "White Noise." AlunaGeorge's Aluna Francis made a surprise appearance on the O2 Arena stage.
Daft Punk won the best international group award over Arcade Fire, Haim, Kings of Leon and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, but producer Nile Rodgers accepted the award on the robots' behalf from soccer star Cesc Fabregas and Nicole Scherzinger. "I guess we got lucky," he said.
The British singer first performed "I Need Your Love," her award-nominated hit made with Calvin Harris, but then stripped her white cape to sing "Burn" as fire lit the stage.
Best Male Solo Artist
David Bowie was crowned Britain's best male solo artist, but sent a top female to accept the accolade on his behalf -- Kate Moss. Bowie became the oldest winner of a BRIT Award in history and urged Scotland to remain part of the U.K. in his acceptance speech, delivered through Moss.
Lorde took home the award for international female solo artist, over Janelle Monae, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Pink. Picking up her first BRIT Award, the New Zealander said she was still so new to winning awards that she feels like her head would explode.
One Direction also took home the award for best British video, determined for the first time via Twitter vote during the ceremony. This time, all five members of the band were present to accept the accolade.
Arctic Monkeys won the award for best British group and British album of the year, making them the first band to win both awards three times. "That rock 'n' roll just won't go away," said frontman Alex Turner. "The cyclical nature of the universe, in which it exists," makes it rise and fall in terms of mass appeal and visibility. But it will never die, he added. He then said BRIT Awards organizers could invoice him for the microphone, which he dropped a second later.
Pharrell Williams closed the show alongside Nile Rodgers, performing "Get Lucky," the Grammy-winning hit Daft Punk co-wrote with Williams and Rodgers; Chic's "Good Times"; and Williams' Oscar-nominated "Happy" from Despicable Me 2. (Williams also donned a version of his Grammys hat that he's been spotted wearing on other recent occasions, including the Oscar Nominees luncheon earlier this month.)