Annual awards presented by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for excellence in music. The awards, often referred to as the ‘Brits’, were first presented in 1977 and then annually from 1982. They are the UK's equivalent of the US Grammy awards. An awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic Brit Awards, is also held annually.
The first ‘British Record Industry Britannia Centenary Awards’ ceremony, held in the Wembley Conference Centre in 1977, commemorated Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee as well as 100 years of recorded sound. From 1982 they were held annually under the auspices of the BPI, and were renamed the Brit Awards (often written as ‘BRIT Awards’) in 1989. The ceremony that year was under-rehearsed and chaotic, which resulted in the Brits not being broadcast live again until 2007.
Among the winners of the first awards in 1977 were The Beatles, Cliff Richard, and Shirley Bassey.