Adele said “I really love being a woman” as she secured a new gender-neutral award at the Brits.
The singer told fans at London’s O2 Arena that she “understands” why the academy has this year scrapped male and female categories at the ceremony.
However, she singled out fellow female nominee, rapper Little Simz, for praise.
The Brits academy faced pressure to do away with its male and female-specific awards this year and has scrapped gendered categories, introducing gender-neutral gongs in their place.
Taking to the stage to accept the prize for artist of the year, Adele said: “I want to say a massive congratulations to Little Simz. I’ve got so much love for you.”
Ed Sheeran, Sam Fender and rapper Dave were also nominated for the gong.
She added: “Dave, Ed, Sam, I am so proud to be in your company. I love being an artist, I really do, and I genuinely can’t believe it is my job.
“And real artistry, I know I have spoken about it before, but there are so many new artists here. England, the UK, we have so many incredible new young artists coming up.
“Never lose sight of why you are who you are. The reason people are into you is because of something you have in you. Don’t let go of that ever.
“And also, I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman and being a female artist. I do. I am really proud of us.”
Adele also claimed the prizes for song of the year for Easy On Me and album of the year for 30.