Congrats P!nk – but here are some British females who could have been chosen for the BRIT’s Outstanding Contribution to Music instead…
Which UK female solo artists did the award ceremony snub to give the iconic award to an American?
Pop superstar P!nk has certainly ruffled some feathers this week, after being announced as the first ever international star to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the 2019 BRIT Awards, to be held later this month.
In the past, the award has been given to the UK’s biggest musical icons including The Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Sir Elton John.
Rock bands such as U2, The Who, The Police, Oasis and Status Quo have accepted the honour, also, and solo artist recipients have been: Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Sting, Paul Weller, Bob Geldof, Sir Cliff Richard, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Robbie Williams, Sir Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.
Pop acts also haven’t done too badly, with Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Wham!, Bee Gees, Pet Shop Boys and The Spice Girls all taking home the prestigious title.
Even a manager once won the prize, although not just any manager – fifth Beatle himself, George Martin.
So not only is Pink’s addition to this list somewhat of a shock because she’s American, not a Brit, but it also, bizarrely, makes her the first ever solo female to be given the BRIT for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
Understandably, she was thrilled (and surely she can’t wait to get the party started to celebrate.)
The singer – who also accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week – gushed: “Since the beginning of my career the British fans have been some of the most fierce and loyal in the world. I am humbled to receive this honor and be in the company of an illustrious group of British icons!”
The award hasn’t actually been presented since 2012, when Blur were the recipients, but the promise of global superstar P!nk was, apparently, too much to resist, so the powers that be brought it back just for her.
Although it’s undoubtedly great to see the super talented star – who has sold over 40 million albums since debuting in 2000 – add to her already deservedly crowded awards cabinet, we thought it might be interesting to have a look at which British female icons might have been more appropriately recognised.
Check out our alternatives for Outstanding Contribution to Music, below:
If a Brit had been the first female to win the Outstanding Contribution to Music, it would have surely had to have been the UK’s most celebrated female artist, right? And no one fits that description more than Kate Bush, who blast onto the UK charts in 1978 with the iconic hit Wuthering Heights, which was the first Number 1 hit to be written and performed by a woman.
Not long after, the eccentric star went onto become the first British female to top the album charts too, with her second album Never For Ever. Throughout her 40-year career, she’s received a staggering 13 Brit Award nominations, but has so far only won once – for Best British Female in 1987. Are the Brit awards anti-Bush? Where is her Outstanding Contribution gong? Although, in reality, she’s probably been offered it many times, but has more than likely refused to accept. After all, Kate Bush is notoriously reclusive. But maybe she’ll be inspired to get in there now Americans are winning the award in her absence?
If not Kate Bush, then there’s another icon of British music that surely should have taken the honour before P!nk muscled her way in? Scottish soul singer Annie technically has been given the award, as part of legendary duo Eurythmics, but seeing as Freddie Mercury, Sting, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were all inducted both as solo artists and with their respective bands, we can’t see why Annie should be excluded.
With enduring classics – all on her own – such as Walking on Broken Glass, Why and No More I Love Yous, we expect it will only be a matter of time before her Sweet Dreams come true. Wh—yyyyy—-yyyyy not?
Speaking of dreams coming true, remember Gabrielle? The BRITs clearly don’t. Here’s a star who certainly wouldn’t hesitate to grace the awards stage and accept an Outstanding Contribution to Music award. Some might question whether the soul singer was qualified for such a prestigious honour.
But, once upon a time, Gabrielle one of the UK’s most successful solo females, not only thanks to her classic Number 1 Dreams, but also a string of other hits, such as her East 17 duet, If You Ever, and Give Me A Little More Time in the 90s. Not only that, but in the 2000s, Gabrielle was responsible for one of the most stunning comebacks in UK chart history, when she returned with her beloved 2000 No1 album Rise, which led to a fresh chapter of smashes including its title track, Sunshine and Out of Reach from the Bridget Jones’s Diary soundtrack. Time for the BRITs to give the London star another comeback, perhaps?
No one can accuse Lulu of not putting in the hours. With all due respect, she’s been around since before the dinosaurs. The legend first burst onto the charts with Shout in the 60s, and has been proving her longevity ever since, with hits in just about every decade, which have included Eurovision entries, Bond themes – To Sir With Love was one of the best-selling songs of its year – and memorably her No1 with Take That in 1993, Relight My Fire. Shouldn’t the Brits have given the wee Scottish star a Shout out by now?
Too soon? Perhaps. After all, Adele has only put out three albums in her relatively young but undoubtedly explosive career. But then again, the Spice Girls were recipients of the award, don’t forget, and have only ever put out three albums, also. And they accepted their Outstanding Contribution to Music honour way earlier than ten years into their career, which is where Adele currently finds herself. Obviously, the London superstar’s credentials speak for her, really. Adele is one of the most successful recording artists of the 21st century, with unparalleled album sales; 21 alone has sold over 30 million copies since being released in 2011 and has broken just about every record going. And every record it didn’t break, follow-up 25 did. There’s surely no award Adele isn’t worthy of winning. She did win an Oscar too, remember, for Skyfall!
Dame Shirley Bassey
Forget the Dame at your peril. Shirley Bassey once covered one of P!nk’s signature hits, in fact, when she did an operatic version of Get The Party Started in 2007. Could she now follow in the American singer’s footsteps once again by becoming the first UK female to win an Outstanding Contribution to Music?
She’s certainly a legend. With hits like Hey Big Spender – c’mon, don’t pretend you haven’t belted that one out on karaoke – and Goldfinger – one of her three iconic Bond themes – standing the test of time, not to mention THAT voice, who would dare deny the Grand Dame Diva such a fitting accolade? And, if that wasn’t enough, she was the first Welsh person to ever achieve a Number 1 single with As I Love You in 1958. And, of course, she’s got the range, darling.
This elusive starlet – and band, confusingly – might be considered somewhat of a wildcard for consideration. That is, until, you look at their sales. The British Nigerian singer – whose band shares her name – was brought up in Essex, then went on to enjoy enormous success in the 80s, with two of the best-selling albums featuring female vocals of the decade: Diamond Life and Promise.
They also won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1986. Then in the 90s, they proved to be adaptable, with a well-received comeback, before going on to win more Grammys in 2000 with Lovers Rock. Few would be as deserving as Sade, and, let’s face it, a chilled-out performance of Smooth Operator or Sweetest Taboo would make a refreshing change of pace for the climax of the awards show.