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Brit Awards: Blur returns and Adele raises her middle finger

February 21, 2012 |  7:07 pm

Image: Adele and James Corden at the Brit Awards. Credit: Associated Press

Welcome home, Adele. Now please, step aside for Blur.

London's soulful singer, who won six Grammy Awards and performed for the first time earlier this month after undergoing vocal cord surgery, unexpectedly took top honors at the 2012 Brit Awards. Her "21" won album of the year, but her triumphant homecoming was cut short.

Immediately after declaring that she is "so, so proud to be British," host James Corden was forced to rush Adele off the stage to welcome a reunited Blur for a rousing, 10-plus-minute show-closing set. Yet even as Adele was asked to exit the stage, she still managed to get the last word. Adele shrugged and raised a middle finger as Corden turned the proceedings over the Blur.

"Nothing makes me prouder that coming home with six Grammys and then coming to the Brits and winning album of the year," Adele said during her acceptance speech. "I’m so, so proud to be British and to be flying our flag and I’m so proud to be in the room with all of you."

As Corden approached Adele, he apologized and said he "can't believe" he's about to cut off the superstar, who performed her "Rolling in the Deep" live in her native country for the first time since undergoing surgery in November. "You're gonna cut me off?" Adele remarked as he approached, and then added, before extending her finger, "Can I just say then, goodbye, and I’ll see you next time round, then." 

Multiple press outlets have quoted Adele as saying backstage that the gesture was meant "for the suits, not the fans." Regardless, consider Adele's chances of performing at the 2013 Super Bowl now slightly decreased. 

As far as the awards, the British equivalent of the Grammys named Adele the top British female solo artist, and bestowed the male prize upon wispy young singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The latter was also crowned this year's breakthrough act, and American Lana Del Rey was awarded the trophy for international breakthrough act. 

But let's skip to the performance for which Adele's speech was cut short. Blur, who were recognized at the Brit Awards for outstanding contribution to music, performed five songs, "Girls & Boys," "Song 2," "Parklife," "Tender" and "This Is a Low." The mini-set was absent any Grammy-like shenanigans, as Blur wasn't forced to awkwardly join forces with any younger artists.

Instead, the set showcased the adventurous band's breadth throughout its decade-plus career, including the dance-club inflections of "Girls & Boys,"the gospel-tinged "Tender" and the anthemic rock 'n' roller "Song 2." After the jump, watch the band's performance of its acidic, upper-crust take down that is "Parklife" with actor/comedian Phil Daniels. No doubt it won't be on YouTube for long.


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— Todd Martens

Image: Adele and James Corden at the Brit Awards. Credit: Associated Press