The Pet Shop Boys pulled out of Elton John and Olly Alexander’s BRIT Award 2021 performance on Tuesday just days before the event, it has been claimed.
A source has told The Sun that the band decided not to join the duo’s duet to their song It’s A Sin amid ‘creative differences’ on how the performance should look.
The music legend, 74, and Years & Years star, 30, teamed up for the event, leaving some fans to declare that their duet was ‘amazing’ and ‘the highlight’ of the night.
Stars of the night: The Pet Shop Boys pulled out of Elton John and Olly Alexander’s BRIT Award 2021 performance on Tuesday just days before the event, it has been claimed
An insider from the awards said: ‘It seemed like they had different visions of what the performance should look like.
‘Some wanted it to be a celebration of gayness, others thought it’d be better to make it more general. Let’s just call it creative differences.’
As well as performing the track, Olly and Elton have released their version as a single to support Elton’s AIDS charity, with the Pet Shop Boys producing the record.
A representative for the band, comprised of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, confirmed to the publication that they had been asked to take part in the BRIT Awards performance, however denied any ‘creative differences’.
Music legends: A source has alleged that the band decided not to join the duet to their song It’s A Sin amid ‘creative differences’ on how the performance should look (the Pet Shop Boys are pictured at the BRIT Awards in 2009)
They said: ‘It’s not true that creative differences led to them not appearing. The staging and casting ideas were approved by PSB along with Olly and Elton.’
The representative added that ultimately the band were unable to appear because of a ‘contractual issue’.
MailOnline has contacted Olly Alexander, Elton John, the Pet Shop Boys and the BRIT Awards’ representatives for further comment.
It’s A Sin is on the Pet Shop Boys’ second album which was released in 1987 and also happens to be the name of the TV drama which Olly starred in earlier this year.
Elton and Olly dazzled viewers with their duet on Tuesday night, with some even gushing that the colourful performance of the song, was ‘the best ever’ in the event’s history as it quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
What a show! Elton and Olly left the BRIT Award 2021 viewers awestruck on Tuesday after performing their rendition of the Pet Shop Boy’s song It’s A Sin
‘Incredible’: The music legend, 74, and Years & Years star, 30, teamed up for the event, leaving some fans to declare that their duet was ‘amazing’ and ‘the highlight’ of the night
Taking to Twitter after the incredible performance, one fan tweeted: ‘Elton John and Olly Alexander. I need to watch that again. That was brilliant #ItsASin #Brits’
While another impressed viewer penned: ‘#brits2021 Sir Elton John & Olly Alexander Absolutely Brilliant, one of, if not the best performances ever on the Brits.’
And someone else added: ‘Elton John, Years and Years, Pet Shop Boys….. bloody hell!!! That was heaven!’
Agreeing that the performance was fantastic, a fourth person wrote: ‘That’s the best performance I’ve ever seen at #thebrits #eltonjohn #ItsASin’
Joining in the praise, a fifth person wrote: ‘That was incredible! Wasn’t Olly Alexander amazing and Sir Elton John the highlight of the Brits 2021’
Music makers: It’s A Sin is on the Pet Shop Boys’ second album which was released in 1987 and also happens to be the name of the TV drama which Olly starred in earlier this year
And another viewer tweeted: ‘My goodness, @alexander_olly & @eltonjohn at The Brits – wow. Such an utterly beautiful performance…….. #TheBritAwards.’
The single is in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which was founded in 1992 and is one of the leading independent AIDS organisations in the world.
While many fans would have expected it to be live, the performance was actually pre-recorded as Elton and Olly were seen dancing along to the show from their seats at the O2 Arena.
Elton and Olly had been majorly teasing their joint performance on social media in the lead-up the the ceremony, with their Instagram accounts and the Brits page all sharing words that spell out ‘It’s A Sin.’
Sir Elton got the rumour mill going on Monday by posting the word ‘It’s’ on a brightly coloured background, before Years & Years dropped the word ‘A’ in an identical font.
Incredible: Elton and Olly have released the song as a single, with the Pet Shop Boys producing the record
Reaction: Some viewers even gushed that the colourful performance was ‘the best ever’ in the music event’s history
Fuelling the speculation further, the official Brit Awards page then posted the word ‘Sin’, getting fans excited for what will no doubt be an epic performance.
It was reported that they’d be teaming up to perform a cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ hit It’s A Sin, which of course shares its name with the critically acclaimed series which starred Olly.
Elton was a huge fan of It’s A Sin when it aired on TV earlier this year and even shared his appreciation on social media.
He wrote: ‘It’s A Sin is an incredibly moving account of the arrival of AIDS in the UK in the 1980’s.
‘Watching it, so many sad and devastating memories came flooding back. Many people were callous, ignorant and cruel. Thank God we have come so far since then.
‘Hats off to @russelltdavies63 on creating this moving testament to a pivotal and important moment in LGBTQ history. The cast are sublime. Congratulations all round. A triumph of creativity and humanity.’
New music alert! The tune has now been released as a single in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Colourful: Olly lounged on the stage in a shimmering crop top and trousers while Elton played the piano
Enjoying the show: While many fans would have expected it to be live, the performance was actually pre-recorded as Elton and Olly were seen dancing along from their seats
From multi-BAFTA Award-winning writer Russell T Davies, It’s A Sin follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and charts the joy and heartbreak of a group of friends across a decade in which everything changed.
Olly starred alongside a cast of rising stars and celebrated favourites including Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry and Neil Patrick Harris and It’s a Sin has been universally praised by fans.
Davies, the writer and producer behind Queer As Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and Cucumber, loosely based It’s A Sin on his own experiences in the eighties.
He also spent hours in conversation with his childhood friend Jill Nalder, an actor, ally and activist who lived in London during the decade and is played by Lydia West in the drama.
Such a fan was Elton that he even invited Olly and the entire cast to dinner while on a phone call with the singer on his Apple Music 1 radio show in February.
How did BRIT Awards go ahead during the Covid pandemic?
The 2021 BRIT Awards marked the first live music event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme.
Enhanced testing approaches will examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.
4,000 tickets were made available for the live ceremony, just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity, with 2,500 of those being given to key workers.
The BRITs will play 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.
Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated inside the arena, though they were required in communal areas such as the toilet or main concourse.
All attendees were allowed to purchase alcohol and concessions once inside the O2 Arena.
Attendees were also 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 provide proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and said test had to be taken at an asymptomatic testing site within 36 hours of the ceremony.
Upon arrival at the venue, all attendess were asked to take a PCR test, and will then take another test five days after the ceremony
It’s hoped this will gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.
Going for it: He serenaded Elton before jumping into an energetic performance
He said: ‘I told you when I called you, when this COVID thing has calmed down I’m going to have all of you guys down for a dinner and we’re going to have the best time!’
He also praised the show as the ‘best thing’ he’s ever watched, saying: ‘I have to say, being a gay man and having lived through that time, this is probably one of the best things I’ve seen on television, ever!
‘For those of you who haven’t seen it, you must see it, it will have a lasting impact.’
In an explosion of colour and optimism, the 2021 BRIT Awards celebrated the achievements of British and international artists over the last 18 months.
Very impressive: Confetti sprayed out into the audience while Olly belted out the notes
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.
Putting on a show: Several backup dancers joined the star on stage
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.
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.
All for a good cause: The single is in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which was founded in 1992 and is one of the leading independent AIDS organisations in the world
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.
With the host: Jack Whitehall jumped in for a snap with the musical duo
The first female artist to win the highest BRITs accolade and the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date, Taylor Swift appeared in person to accept the special Global Icon award, which was presented by Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.
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.
Fan: Elton became a huge fan of Olly’s performance as Ritchie Tozer in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin (pictured with the show’s cast)
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.
Big night out: Elton was joined at the BRIT Awards by his husband David Furnish
Sweet: David shared the picture of him and Elton and gushed about his ‘brilliant’ performance, thanking the BRITs for giving them the platform to talk and end stigma against HIV/AIDs
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.
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.
Larking around? Jack and Elton seemed to be in good spirits as they chatted on the stage
The BRIT Awards took place in front of a live audience of 4,000 people at London’s The O2 six days before the next phase of lockdown lifts.
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.
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