Brit Awards

The Brit Awards (stylised as the BRIT Awards; often simply called the Brits) are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards and the British equivalent of the American Grammy Awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust. In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic BRIT Awards, is held each May. Robbie Williams holds the record for the most Brit Awards, having won a total of 12 as a solo artist and another five awards as part of Take That.

The awards began in 1977 and as an annual event in 1982 under the auspices of the British record industry's trade association, the BPI. The last BPI Awards show was the first of the ceremonies to be broadcast on television, by the BBC. In 1989 they were renamed the Britannia Music Awards to echo sponsorship by Britannia Music Club and this was shortened to BRIT Awards. MasterCard has been the long-time sponsor of the event.

The Brit Awards were broadcast live until 1989, when Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood hosted a widely criticised show in which little went as rehearsed. Subsequently, the event was recorded and broadcast the following night. This was part of a revamp by Jonathan King, who created the "BRITs" moniker, and organised a new look show.

From 2007, the Brit Awards reverted to a live broadcast on British television, on 14 February on ITV. In that year, comedian Russell Brand was presenter and three awards were dropped from the ceremony: Best British Rock Act, Best British Urban Act and Best Pop Act.

On 18 February 2009, the venue for the BRITs was once again the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. The 2011 Brit Awards were held at The O2 Arena in London for the first time in its history, moving from the original venue of Earls Court.

Read more about Brit Awards:  Ceremonies, Most Successful Acts

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