The Weeknd Set to Perform Remotely on 2021 Brit Awards

The Weeknd
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.

The Weeknd is nominated for the third time for international male solo artist. And the third time may well be the charm.

The Weeknd has joined the star-studded lineup for this year’s Brit Awards, which will take place May 11 at The O2 arena in London. As the Brits acknowledged in a press release, “Due to current restrictions the exclusive performance will be filmed remotely.”

The Weeknd opened the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30, 2020, giving a sensational performance of “Blinding Lights” atop The Edge at Hudson Yards in New York City. The video of that performance has received more than 11 million YouTube views. His “Blinding Lights” video won the VMAs’ top award, video of the year.

The Weeknd did not perform on the Grammy Awards on March 14. He had infamously been snubbed in the nominations.

The Canadian singer-songwriter last performed at the Brits in 2016, when he sang his smash “The Hills.”

The Weeknd is nominated for the third time for international male solo artist at this year’s Brits. And the third time may well be the charm. He lost in 2016 and 2017 to fellow Canadians Justin Bieber and Drake, respectively. This year, he is going up against Bruce Springsteen, Burna Boy, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

“Blinding Lights” spent eight non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart and was the U.K.’s biggest track of 2020.

Coldplay will open the Brit Awards. The show will also feature performances by Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Arlo Parks, Griff, Headie One, and Rag’n’Bone Man & P!nk with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir.

Lipa and Coldplay leader Chris Martin will be the only artists to perform on both the Grammys and the Brits this year. At the Grammys, Lipa performed a medley of songs from her Future Nostalgia album. Martin performed in the In Memoriam spot. (Coldplay did not perform, despite being nominated for album of the year for Everyday Life.)

The Grammys didn’t book a performance (or even an appearance) by Rodrigo, who is likely to be a nominee in several categories at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2022.

The Brit Awards 2021 with Mastercard – as the show is officially known – will be broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub and hosted by award winning comedian and actor Jack Whitehall.

Unlike the Grammys, where there are 84 categories (set to rise to 86 next year), the Brits have just 10 categories. One has already been announced. Griff is the recipient of this year’s rising star award.

The Brits last month announced that it will be the first major indoor music event to welcome back a live audience – with 2,500 tickets gifted by the recorded music industry to frontline heroes and their guests via a lottery. The indoor ceremony and live show will form part of the U.K. government’s scientific Events Research Programme, using enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing.