The Sun had claimed the duo – Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe – had been invited to join Elton and Olly as they performed a reworking of Pet Shop Boys’ classic hit It’s A Sin, but pulled out as they had “different visions” of what it should look like.
However, Neil and Chris have now set the record straight, insisting that while it was true they had been asked to join Sir Elton and Olly on stage, “contractual issues” prevented them from appearing.
A statement posted on Twitter read: “It’s true that Pet Shop Boys had been asked to be part of the performance of their song It’s A Sin and that they co-produced the new version for the Brits with their long-term producer Stuart Price.
“It’s not true that ‘creative differences’ led to them not appearing. The staging and casting ideas were approved by PSB along with Olly Alexander and Elton John.
“The non-appearance of PSB was ultimately due to a contractual issue that proved unresolvable.”
Years And Years singer Olly had a personal connection to the song, as it was the name of the hit Russell T Davies drama he starred in earlier this year, which told the story of a group of gay friends living through the AIDS pandemic in 1980s London.
Olly also recorded his own version of the Pet Shop Boys’ 1987 hit for the show’s soundtrack.
A spokesperson for the Brit Awards said the collaboration between Olly and Elton came about after he appeared on on Elton’s Rocket Hour show to talk about his role as Ritchie Tozer in the Channel 4 drama.
They added to Metro: “There was then an invitation from Elton directly to the Pet Shop Boys to see how they might want to get involved.
“Elton and Olly were delighted when they agreed to produce the music alongside Stuart Price. The Pet Shop Boys’ production teams also supported and contributed to the staging and physical production every step of the way.”
The rep added: “The response to the performance has been phenomenal and the single is raising money for the Elton John Aids Foundation, such an important cause. It was a special Brit performance people will be talking about for years.”
Olly and Elton’s performance was once of many that took place during Tuesday’s Brit Awards, with the likes of Arlo Parks, Dua Lipa and Rag’n’Bone Man also taking to the stage during the evening.