Homegrown London talents Stormzy and Dua Lipa were among winners at Wednesday’s Brit Awards, where many music stars wore white roses to support campaigns against sexual harassment and assault.
Following up on gestures at the Golden Globes, Grammys and British film awards, guests at Britain’s biggest music awards show were given flowers or white rose pins to wear in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement.
Calls for change have swept through the entertainment industry since women began coming forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year.
The white rose symbol made an appearance at the Grammys last month. At the Globes and British Academy Film Awards women wore black to oppose sexual misconduct and bullying.
On the red carpet, Lipa said making the symbolic statement to “millions and millions of people, not just in the U.K. but all over the world, it does make a difference.”
The 22-year-old rising star was nominated in five categories at the Brit awards, including album of the year for her self-titled debut.
Brit Awards 2018: Stars hit the red carpet and the stage
Early in the show Lipa won the prize for British female solo artist, and dedicated her trophy to all the female musicians who “have allowed us to dream this big.”
“Here’s to more women on these stages, more women winning awards and more women taking over the world,” said Lipa, who topped U.K. charts with her catchy breakup anthem “No Rules.”
Grime artist Stormzy won the male British artist prize for his distinctly London style of rap, and thanked his mother, his team, south London and God.
Soulful singer Rag’n’Bone Man took the trophy for best British single for “Human.”
Ubiquitous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was among other contenders for the awards at London’s O2 Arena.
Once a slightly ramshackle and unpredictable event, the Brits has become a slick showcase for U.K. and international talent.
Most winners are chosen by a ballot of music-industry members, with several selected by public vote.
Performers at the show, hosted by dapper comedian Jack Whitehall, include Justin Timberlake, Rita Ora and Foo Fighters.
Organizers said Ariana Grande was forced to pull out of performing at the awards because of illness. She had been due to make a surprise appearance in tribute to 22 people killed when a bomber blew himself up at a Grande concert in Manchester in May.
Brit Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor said Grande “was not able to travel on doctor’s orders.”
He said the show would still feature a “fitting remembrance and recognition” of the Manchester attack.