Brit Awards greatest hits: the throwback pictures you need to see

This year’s Brit Awards will focus on grime music, modern singer-songwriters and indie pop, but in years gone by the annual prize-giving ceremony has seen a wide range of eclectic acts take to the stage.

As well as the big-name performers and acts of yesteryear, the Brits has attracted a large number of celebrity guests and hosts since its launch more than 35 years ago.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

From the Spice Girls’ Geri Halliwell’s iconic Union Jack dress to Michael Jackson’s Earth Song rendition, here are some of the most memorable – and a handful of long forgotten – images from the Brit Awards over the years.

Take That – 1994

Clad in matching blue suits, Take That took to the stage to perform at London’s Alexandra Palace after winning the best single by a British act and best video awards.

(Michael Stephens/PA)

Alex James – 1995

Blur’s bassist with a cigarette in his mouth during the group’s performance of Girls & Boys. The Britpop group went on to win a record breaking four awards that year.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

Michael Jackson – 1996

The King Of Pop’s performance of his hit Earth Song was sensationally interrupted by Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker, who later said he was protesting against Jacko giving himself a “Christlike” presence on stage.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

The Spice Girls – 1997

At the height of their fame in the late 1990s, the Spice Girls secured their place in the music history books with a performance of Who Do You Think You Are, but it was Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress – created from a tea-towel – that stole the show.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

Robbie Williams and Sir Tom Jones – 1998

Post-Take That, Robbie was enjoying solo success, and used his new-found freedom to perform with Sir Tom at the 1998 awards. The two singers entertained the audience with a rendition of Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me).

(Neil Munns/PA)

Billie Piper – 1999

In the pop music-heavy late 1990s, Billie – now known for being an actress – joined forces with groups Steps, Cleopatra, B*Witched and singer Tina Cousins for an Abba medley at the 1999 awards.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

Whitney Houston – 1999

Also on the bill in 1999 was diva Whitney, who donned this leather corset for a performance of her hit It’s Not Right But It’s Okay. The following year she received a nod for best international female solo artist.

(Fiona Hanson/PA)

Sir Elton John and Eminem – 2001

It was a collision of genres as this unlikely combination shared an impressively warm embrace as Sir Elton presented the rapper with the best international male solo artist prize.

(John Stillwell/PA)

Destiny’s Child – 2001

Before Beyonce was a chart-topping solo artist making headlines with her pregnancy announcements, she appeared at the Brits as a member of Destiny’s Child with matching green costumes and wide smiles.

(Matthew Fearn/PA)

Kylie Minogue – 2002

Before the Kardashians there was only one rear end being written about and it was Kylie Minogue’s. She showed her fans the reason why as she sported a barely-there white dress to sing Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.


Brits fashion will never be this good again.

More in this Section

Ant and Dec use BGT golden buzzer for dancing Mumbai teenager

Sean Slater returns after a decade away in new EastEnders pics

Director John Singleton in hospital after stroke

Eminem celebrates 11 years of being sober


Runner of the Week: Cork man taking on marathon challenge for mental health awareness

We sell books: Sisters are doing it for themselves

Dark side of teen life: Bo Burnham's Eight Grade highlights anxieties of the self generation

Wealth inequality behind the extinction of mammals

More From The Irish Examiner