Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish among winners at female-dominated BRITs

The event, which featured an audience of 4,000 people including 2,500 key workers, marked the return of live music to London’s O2 Arena after more than a year.

Jack Whitehall kicked off the event with a sketch featuring Line Of Duty stars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, as well as social media sensation Jackie Weaver, who went viral with her contributions to a parish council meeting.

Coldplay delivered a performance of their new single Higher Power from a pontoon on the River Thames, surrounded by hologram dancers and against a backdrop of purple and orange fireworks.

Dua Lipa took home the female solo artist Brit for a second time

/ PA

Little Mix made history as the first female group to win the best British group prize.

The group – Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards – thanked former bandmate Jesy Nelson and girl groups including Spice Girls who paved the way.

Edwards said: “Guys, we’ve just made history! I’m emotional.”

Pinnock added: “It’s not easy being a female in the UK pop industry.

“We have seen white male dominance, misogyny, sexism and lack of diversity.

“We are proud of how we have stuck together, stood our ground and surrounded ourselves with strong women and are now using our voices more than ever.”

Arlo Parks accepts the award for Breakthrough Artist / John Marshall/AFP via Getty Imag

The Spice Girls applauded the win on Twitter, saying: “Congratulations @LittleMix Doing it for the Girls!!”

It was their first Brit win without Nelson, who quit the X Factor-formed girl group in December, saying the high-profile role had “taken a toll” on her mental health.

Dua Lipa took home the female solo artist Brit for a second time.

She announced she would be sharing her trophy with Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, the emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London.

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