History-making Dua Lipa hails women as she wins first gong at the Brit Awards

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Dua Lipa paid tribute to the power of women as she picked up the Brit award for British female solo artist.

The singer-songwriter, who is the first female in the history of the Brits to be nominated for five awards, picked up the first gong of the night.

The 22-year-old was one of the first to arrive on the red carpet before the ceremony, and carried a white rose in support of victims of sexual harassment and assault.

The star paid tribute to women who had been on the Brit Awards stage before her as she collected her prize from pop princess Kylie Minogue and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

After thanking her record label, her crew, her family, friends and fans, she thanked “every single female that has been on this stage before me, that has given girls like me – not just girls in the music industry – but girls in society, a place to be inspired by, to look up and have allowed us to dream this big.”

She added: “Here’s to more women on these stages, more women winning awards and more women taking over the world.”

Brit Awards 2018 – Arrivals – London
Dua Lipa attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London (Ian West/PA)

Meanwhile, Ariana Grande was forced to pull out of a surprise Manchester Arena bombing tribute performance due to illness.

The American pop star was due to take to the stage as part of a tribute for the victims of the attack that took place at her concert in May last year.

However, the chief executive of the Brit Awards confirmed that she has been unable to travel to the UK.

Geoff Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We think it’s really important to recognise that terrible atrocity and the impact on so many lives so I can confirm we did have Ariana Grande lined up to make a performance tonight.

“Unfortunately she was not able to travel on doctor’s orders, she’s not well, and I can say that there will be something tonight. I can’t say any more than that but people should tune in and watch.

“And hopefully it will be a fitting remembrance and recognition of what happened, which was so terrible.”

He added: “People went out to enjoy music, music is such a unifying force for all of us and a terrible thing happened, and it’s important that we remember that.”

Pressed about rumours that Liam Gallagher will be stepping in for Grande, Mr Taylor dodged the question and said: “I think people should tune in tonight, I promise they won’t be disappointed.”

Grande’s concert was targeted with a suicide bombing which killed 22 people when an attacker detonated an explosive device as fans left Manchester Arena on May 22.

Two weeks later, Grande returned to the city after organising the One Love Manchester benefit concert, which enthralled and warmed the hearts of a global audience of millions.

This year’s Brit Awards sees singer Dua Lipa leading the pack with five nominations, while Ed Sheeran is also being backed for success following a stellar 2017.

The ceremony, held at London’s O2 Arena, has seen music stars emulating their film colleagues as anti-sexual harassment movement Time’s Up took a prominent place on the red carpet.