Artist News Awards

BRITs revives Global Icon Award for first time in five years for Taylor Swift

By | Published on Monday 10 May 2021

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift will receive the Global Icon Award at the BRITs tomorrow, it has been announced. The prize is being given “in recognition of her immense impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date”. Because being popular is not recognition enough.

The Icon prize is only handed out occasionally, for reasons that are often somewhat opaque. It was first handed to Elton John in 2013, seemingly in an effort to launch a spin-off event to the main BRITs ceremony. It was then revived in 2016 as part of a hastily thrown together tribute to David Bowie, who had died weeks earlier. Then later the same year it was given to Robbie Williams because he had an album to promote.

Now Taylor Swift is to become the first woman to win the occasional prize. She is also nominated for Best International Female Solo Artist. A cynic might suggest that the re-emergence of the Icon award indicates that she’s not won that, and in a year where she was so successful organisers feel she should still get something. Or maybe that the overall winners list was likely to be heavily dominated by male artists.

That’s cynics for you though. We’ll find out if those cynics – whoever they may be – are right tomorrow night. Because that’s when the ceremony is, don’t forget.

And assuming you’re not one of the 4000 people actually being let into the room, you will of course be able to watch it all on TV and through the event’s social channels. In fact, this year BRITs organisers are promising that social media will “bring those at home the ultimate viewpoint of this year’s ceremony”. So, bad luck live audience members. Sucks to be you.

There will be red carpet footage shown on TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. Then, once the show is up and running, there will be “dedicated photography and social capture points feeding into live commentary that won’t skip a beat”. A load of social media influencers will also be encouraging people to get dressed up to watch the show through a series of ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos.

For those outside the UK, without access to a TV playing ITV1, the show will be livestreamed on YouTube too. And for those wanting to tweet along, a partnership with Giphy will see highlights of the show made available as gifs as they happen.

“This has been a year like no other and whilst we have faced unprecedented challenges in the journey to The BRITs, it has allowed us to reinvigorate and evolve how we engage artists and most importantly fans along the way”, says Kate Wyn-Jones, Co-Chair of the BRITs Digital Committee. “The tenacity and creativity of the entire team has meant that we have delivered some incredibly impactful moments ahead of the show and we are so excited to continue to do so”.

If you are wondering what some of those pre-show moments involved, well, headline sponsor Mastercard has been running a #BRITsMOVER dance challenge on TikTok in recent weeks. And some of the best submissions to that will be shown either side of the ad breaks during the big show itself.