The 32nd BRIT Awards began with a bang, literally, on Tuesday night as London’s O2 Arena rained fireworks during Coldplay’s opening-act number. Later at the U.K. music industry kudos, Rihanna splattered the boards with paint, Florence and the Machine transformed the stage into an ethereal kingdom, George Michael made his first appearance at the awards in 17 years and video tributes to Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse unspooled.
Adele added two more Brits to her substantial gong collection. After being cut off mid-speech for her album of the year honor, she gave a one-fingered salute in annoyance. “I’ll see you next time around, yeah?” she promised.
Bruno Mars jazzed up “Just the Way You Are” after accepting the award for international male solo artist. “This is almost taller than me,” he quipped, sizing up his Brit Award.
Post kudos, Universal Music’s guests were treated to the DJ spins of will.i.am and Florence Welch at the Tate Modern.