Brit Awards 2018: Stormzy scoops Ed Sheeran to win top prizes

South London grime superstar Stormzy beat Ed Sheeran to the main prizes in a surprise result at the Brit Awards.

Stormzy, who seemed overwhelmed when he won best British male and best British album for Gang Signs and Prayer, also closed the show and criticised the PM’s handling of the Grenfell tragedy.


Sheeran didn’t go home empty-handed – he was given the global success award.

Dua Lipa won best British female and the breakthrough award, while Gorillaz were named best British group.

But the night belonged to Stormzy, who held his head in his hands as he walked to the stage to accept best male, and fell to the ground when he was named winner of British album.

He told the crowd Gang Signs And Prayer was “the hardest thing” he had done and gave “all the glory to God”.

He said: “I’ve never worked on something like this in my life. We made something I feel that is undeniable, that I can stand by today.”

The star also used a freestyle between songs at the end of the show to deliver a blistering criticism of the prime minister’s handling of the Grenfell Tower fire.

“Yo, Theresa May, where’s that money for Grenfell?” he rapped. “What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell?”

A Downing Street spokesman said the government had committed more than £58 million to deal with the aftermath of the tower block blaze.

Ed Sheeran had the biggest commercial success of 2017, but won’t have begrudged Stormzy his wins – before the ceremony, he said he wanted the Croydon rapper to win best album.

“I think he made the album of the year, personally,” Sheeran told BBC 5 live.

The pair performed together at last year’s show on a remix of Shape Of You.

Gang Signs And Prayer was the first grime release to win the Brit for best album, 15 years after the genre – a British take on hip-hop – emerged from east London.

On the red carpet, Ed Sheeran said he wanted Stormzy to win best album. Lo and behold, the grime star crept up and stole the award off him.

Not that Stormzy didn’t deserve it.

Gang Signs & Prayer is a huge, uncompromising album – one that redefined what grime could be as it veered from spittle-flecked free-styling on Big For Your Boots to the gospel-inspired devotional Blinded By Your Grace.

The victory notably comes two years after he blasted the Brits as “embarrassing” and “so white”, which led to a shake-up in the ceremony’s voting committee.

But it was his artistry, not politics, that swayed voters.


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