The Love Story hitmaker, 31, took to the stage at London‘s O2 to accept the award – becoming the first woman to do so in the show’s history – when she gave a blink-and-you’ll miss it nod to her British actor beau, 30.
While thanking a long list of friends and collaborators, the American beauty briefly paused, before smiling and simply acknowledging ‘Joe’ for his support.
Beau: Taylor Swift coyly thanked her boyfriend of four years, Joe Alwyn, when she scooped the coveted Global Icon trophy at the BRIT Awards on Tuesday night
While Joe received a special thank-you, he was not seen with Taylor at the star-studded awards ceremony – in keeping with the couple’s low-key romance.
Ahead of receiving her award, the Fearless singer was praised by many of her fellow stars, including longtime friends Selana Gomez, Ed Sheeran and music legend Annie Lennox for her incredible collection of music.
She said: ‘That video, anyone who was in that video, Selena, Zoe, Ed, Griff and my soul left my body when Annie Lennox appeared
‘I’m really proud to be part of this musical community, but what we really needed was the help and support of the NHS thank you for everything you’d done for us.
Here she is! Taylor made history at the end of the evening as she accepted the Global Icon Award, the first time in history a female artist had been presented with the honour
Big step: Back in February, it was reported that Taylor and her beau of four years Joe are renting a £5.5million home in London together (pictured in 2019)
Private: The duo are rarely pictured together however did write some songs for Taylor’s album Evermore during the pandemic lockdowns (pictured in 2019)
‘I am so indebted and grateful to my British fans, I love you so much for everything you’d done for me, we’ve had so many amazing memories in the last 15 years, from playing Shepherd’s Bush Empire, to Wembley Stadium, to the O2 Arena, and because of you last year I almost played Glastonbury!
Noting the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought much of the world to a halt, Taylor continued: ‘We all know what happened next, the world changed, and I ended up putting out three albums instead.
‘Making Folklore and Evermore was the most unique experience I’ve ever had. I want to thank my friends and family who know exactly who they are. If there’s one thing I’ve learned is you have to look around everyday.
‘Never take them for granted, there are so many incredible new artists in this room tonight, and so many people watching who have goals and dreams and ambitions for themselves.
Touched: The Fearless singer was praised by many of her fellow stars, including longtime friends Selana Gomez, Ed Sheeran and music legend Annie Lennox for her body of work
Eye-catching: Taylor dazzled in a beautiful white beaded Miu Miu crop top and matching skirt as she took to the stage to accept her honour, after being praised by her fellow music stars
Amazing: She said, ‘We live in a world where anyone has the right to say anything they want about you at any time, but please remember that you have the right to prove them wrong’
‘We live in a world where anyone has the right to say anything they want about you at any time, but please remember that you have the right to prove them wrong, I love you so much thank you so much for this beautiful honour, this is amazing.’
Taylor looked sensational for her big moment at the awards ceremony, donning a Miu Miu crop top and skirt made of white organza, embellished with sequins and crystals with floral detailed patches all over.
The 11-time Grammy Award winner has joined past winners Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie in being given with the award in recognition of her impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date.
In numbers provided by Official Charts Company, Taylor is the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date in 2021 and has sold over 114 million albums worldwide with total global audio and video streams reaching 78 billion.
Low-key romance: While Joe received a special thank-you, he was not seen with Taylor at the star-studded awards ceremony – in keeping with the couple’s low-key romance
In good company: The 11-time Grammy Award winner has joined past winners Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie in being given with the award
Phenomenal: In numbers provided by Official Charts Company, Taylor is the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date in 2021 and has sold over 114 million albums worldwide
Taylor is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums – Speak Now, RED, 1989 and reputation – sell over one million copies in their week of release.
She is also the only artist to have nine albums each sell at least half a million copies in a single week, with Fearless, Speak Now, RED, 1989, reputation, Lover, folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
Meanwhile, chart-topping singer Taylor and her boyfriend Joe are reportedly renting a £5.5million home in London together.
The lovebirds are thought to have decided to stay in the UK’s capital during lockdown as Taylor ‘doesn’t think jetting around is the right thing to be doing’ amid the pandemic.
The big presentation: Taylor was presented her award by Game Of Thrones star Maisie Smith
Big numbers: Taylor is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums – Speak Now, RED, 1989 and reputation – sell over one million copies in their week of release
The Sun reported back in February that the very private couple were renting the pad in north London from a famous British rock star.
A source told the publication: ‘They keep things extremely quiet together… but the fact they’ve decided to share a home for the first time is a pretty clear sign that they’re the real deal now.
‘They’ve been there for most of lockdown. Taylor doesn’t think jetting around the world is the right thing to be doing. She wants to stick to the rules, and doing that together just made sense for them.’
The source added that the couple’s London pad isn’t permanent as she’s still got homes in America, but that being in the UK ‘works for now’.
Continuing to break records: She is also the only artist to have nine albums each sell at least half a million copies in a single week
Good times: The beauty appeared to be in jovial spirits as she watched the show from her table
Back to normal: The show, hosted by Jack Whitehall, signalled a return back to live music events, after the COVID-19 pandemic brought countless industries to their knees
MailOnline contacted Joe and Taylor’s representatives for comment at the time.
Taylor and Joe are rarely pictured out together however they were spotted enjoying a stroll in the capital at the start of January.
The duo, who have been dating since 2017, have been isolating together during the pandemic with them sharing a few glimpses into their time in lockdown to Instagram and even writing some music together.
Taylor recently gave a rare insight into their relationship as she revealed she has bonded with Joe through their mutual love of sad songs.
Strike a pose: Following the presentation Taylor and Maisie posed with one another backstage
Trophies: The stars got playful as they compared trophies as photographers snapped away
The loved up couple collaborated on several tracks on her new Evermore album, and the star has detailed their process, including their similar ‘musical tastes’.
Speaking to Zane Lowe about the actor on Apple Music, she said: ‘Joe and I really love sad songs. We’ve always bonded over music…
‘We write the saddest [songs]. We just really love sad songs. What can I say? It was a surprise that we started writing together.’
Joe was credited as William Bowery on the record, and helped pen Champagne Problems, Coney Island and Evermore on her newest release, while they had previously teamed up on Exile and Betty for its predecessor, Folklore.
In an explosion of colour and optimism, the 2021 BRIT Awards celebrated the achievements of British and international artists over the last 18 months.
The awards ceremony truly belonged to Dua Lipa, 25, as the evening saw her scoop the accolade for Female Solo Artist and the Mastercard British Album of the Year Award for her lockdown hit Future Nostalgia.
This year’s Rising Star award winner Griff was handed the baton for the honour by 2020’s Rising Star winner Celeste, who herself was up for three further awards.
And Arlo Parks was crowned Breakthrough Artist, one of the three awards the star was nominated for, after what has been an incredible year for the young London artist.
She also made her debut BRITs performance with an elegant rendition of Hope and decorated the set as a sunflower field in a nod to the name of her debut album.
The most nominated girl band in BRIT Award history, Little Mix, finally bagged the title of British Group and made history as the first-ever girl band to win, having been up for the award three previous times.
Meanwhile, the International Group category followed a similar suit, with the California girlband HAIM in attendance to accept their award.
Another sad love song: Speaking to Zane Lowe about her boyfriend on Apple Music recently, Taylor said, ‘Joe and I really love sad songs. We’ve always bonded over music’
And the accolade for International Female was given to the 19-year-old Bad Guy hitmaker Billie Eilish, who accepted the award via a pre-recorded video acceptance speech.
The Weeknd emerged victorious in the International Male Solo Artist category with his award presented by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
The Blinding Lights hitmaker treated the audience to an unforgettable performance of his single Save Your Tears, pre-recorded from the US.
Dem Boy Paigon hitmaker JHUS scooped the Male Solo Artist award, which was accepted on his behalf by DJ Semtex in his absence.
Following a successful awards season stateside, One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles scooped Best British Single with his summertime track Watermelon Sugar.
Each winner was presented with the BRITs’ first-ever collaborative double-trophy, designed by Es Devlin OBE and Yinka Ilori MBE, with each recipient encouraged to re-gift the smaller trophy to someone else.
The 2021 BRIT Awards, hosted by Jack Whitehall, marked the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses released 2,500 free tickets to key workers.
The show saw a total of 11 awards handed out alongside nine unbeatable show-stopping performances, six of which were able to be staged live in stadium.
The show officially opened with fireworks and a UK exclusive performance by Coldplay of their new song Higher Power from the River Thames.
The BRITs is known for its unique collaborations and this year was no different, with Elton John and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander joining forces for a spectacular performance of the Pet Shop Boys’ classic It’s A Sin.
The recorded version of the song will now be available to purchase as a single in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation charity.
A second collaboration saw Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk perform their new single Anywhere Away from Here, with P!nk joining remotely from the US.
And the musical duo were joined by special guest singers from the Greenwich and Lewisham NHS Trust Choir, providing an emotional climax to the show.
Passion for fashion: Taylor donned a Miu Miu crop top and skirt made of white organza, embellished with sequins and crystals with floral detailed patches all over
Another US star who made it to The O2 was Olivia Rodrigo who lit up the stage with a performance of her stunning hit single, Drivers Licence.
Twice nominated Headie One also blew the audience away with a special performance of Ain’t It Different/Princess Cuts, joined by fellow nominees AJ Tracey and Young T & Bugsey.
Presenters on the night included: Annie Mac, Boy George, Celeste, Lewis Capaldi, Kurupt FM and Mabel.
The event was Co-Chaired by Rebecca Allen (President EMI Records) and Selina Webb (EVP Universal Music UK), who oversaw the creative team which along with Devlin and Ilori also included BRITs TV Executive Producer Sally Wood.
Cheers: Taylor was seen enjoying a glass of wine backstage after her win
Gals: The star larked around with Olivia Rodrigo on the night
The ceremony, which was broadcasted live on ITV, celebrated the return to live music and Dua Lipa promised those attending that it would ‘be a night to remember’.
The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme, and used enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.
Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, The BRITs was the first live music show at The O2 in over a year, with 4,000 tickets being up for grabs – just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity
The BRITs played an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions.
Sneak peek: Taylor was seen showing off her outfit ahead of the ceremony
Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings in the arena, but were required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.
Among the rules, attendees had to have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue.
As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, attendees were also asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.
BRIT AWARDS WINNERS 2021
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
DUA LIPA – WINNER
LIANNE LA HAVAS
MALE SOLO ARTIST
J HUS – WINNER
LITTLE MIX – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
BRITs RISING STAR
GRIFF WARNER – WINNER
ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS
CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE
DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA – WINNER
J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY
JESSIE WARE WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE?
HAIM – WINNER
RUN THE JEWELS
ARLO PARKS – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
220 KID & GRACEY DON’T NEED LOVE
AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN
DUA LIPA PHYSICAL
HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR – WINNER
HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN’T IT DIFFERENT
JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART
NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER
REGARD & RAYE SECRETS
S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE
YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON’T RUSH
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
BILLIE EILISH – WINNER
INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
TAME IMPALA FICTION
THE WEEKND – WINNER