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Brit Awards 2017: Most Surprising Winners Ever, Including Duffy, Steps And One Direction (PICS)

Including one surprise victory over Elton John, George Michael and Phil Collins.

21/02/2017 16:55

The Brit Awards are here again, honouring the biggest names in the music industry, including both homegrown talent and overseas artists who’ve made a splash.

However, while musical greats like Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna and Amy Winehouse all have Brits to their name, looking through the hall of fame it’s surprising to see how many unexpected stars have also bagged prizes.

And, more to the point, how many bigger names have lost out to stars who ultimately didn’t exactly stand the test of time.

After having a quick look through the vaults, we’ve chosen 14 of the most bizarre, unexpected and unlikely Brit Awards winners from ceremonies gone by…

  • Dexy's Midnight Runners - 'Come On Eileen' (1983)
    EUGENE ADEBARI/REX Shutterstock
    Now it might be the song that plays as you watch through your fingers while your aunties dance around at a family wedding, but in 1983, 'Come On Eileen' was named as Best British Single, over Irene Cara's 'Fame' and Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger'.
  • Rick Astley - 'Never Gonna Give You Up' (1988)
    RICHARD YOUNG/REX Shutterstock
    'Come On Eileen' isn't the only 80s cringe-fest to have previously been named the best song of the entire year, with Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' also getting the award in 1988.
  • Laura Marling (2011)
    David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
    Back in 2011, the question was whether it would be Cheryl Cole, Ellie Goulding or then-newcomer Paloma Faith to take home the Best British Female award at the Brits. Turned out, none of them did, and it was outsider Laura Marling who was given the gong.
  • Steps (2000)
    Richard Young/REX Shutterstock
    Nobody here is denying the musical power of Steps, obviously. But naming the Best Live Act of 1999 is possibly a bit of a stretch.
  • Mick Hucknall (1993)
    RICHARD YOUNG/REX Shutterstock
    Mick Hucknall's win was doubly surprising when you take into account that he beat competition from Eric Clapton, George Michael, Sir Elton John and Phil Collins to win Best British Male. And yes, that's Richard O'Brien in the background who, for some reason, was the host that year.
  • One Direction (2013)
    David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
    1D having a Brit Award isn't exactly beyond the real of possibility (they've actually got four, at the time of writing), but we were a little alarmed in 2013, when the Global Success category appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and was mysteriously won by the boyband.
  • Finley Quaye (1998)
    Rex Shutterstock
    Now, no offence to Finley Quaye here. We're sure he's a lovely young man. But... who?? Finley was crowned British Male Solo Artist over Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow and Paul Weller back in 1998, when apparently white on white on yellow on white was all the rage.
  • Shaggy (2002)
    Richard Young/REX Shutterstock
    True, 'It Wasn't Me' wasn't exactly an underground track (it's still the UK's 11th best-selling track of the decade), but with nominees for Best International Male including Bob Dylan and Dr Dre, we can't help but feel that Shaggy's win was an unusual one.
  • Best British Single (2006)
    Paul Grover/REX Shutterstock
    Coldplay won Best British Single for 'Speed Of Sound' in 2006. But then they'd have to, wouldn't they? Because look what they were up against. Shayne Ward's 'That's My Goal'. Tony Christie's 'Is This The Way To Amarillo'. And James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful'. If you look closely, you'll see Madonna in the right of the picture, whispering: "It should have been the Sugababes."
  • 'Braveheart' (1996)
    SNAP/REX Shutterstock
    'Braveheart' cleaned up at awards season upon its release, but did you know it also scooped a Brit Award? The Mel Gibson epic beat 'Muriel's Wedding' and 'Batman Forever' to the Best Soundtrack gong in 1996.
  • Duffy (2009)
    David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
    With an earworm hit single like 'Mercy', it was inevitable that Welsh singer Duffy would bag herself a handful of Brit Awards, but fast-forward seven years and it's difficult to imagine a world where she would beat Adele in not one but two categories.
  • Lemar (2004)
    David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
    Like Duffy, no one's saying that Lemar didn't deserve his Best British Urban Act prize... but it does mean that a category exists where Lemar from 'Fame Academy' was crowned winner over Amy literal Winehouse.
  • A1 (2001)
    David Fisher/REX Shutterstock
    A1 were named Best British Breakthrough Act in 2001 over Craig David, Coldplay and Artful Dodger. Once again for the cheap seats at the back: A1 were named Best British Breakthrough Act in 2001 over Craig David, Coldplay and Artful Dodger. Here's what they wore to the event. Good grief (good curtains, though).
  • Status Quo (1991)
    RICHARD YOUNG/REX Shutterstock
    Status Quo perhaps wouldn't have been top of the list of artists we'd guess had been given the Outstanding Contribution To Music prize, but looking at those smiling faces, who could possibly argue?
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