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Elton John and Olly Alexander surprise BRIT Awards with moving It’s a Sin duet: ‘Pure queer pop perfection’

Patrick Kelleher May 12, 2021
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Elton John Olly Alexander Years & Years BRITs

Elton John and Olly Alexander performed "It's a Sin" together at the BRIT Awards. (YouTube)

Elton John teamed up with Years & Years’ Olly Alexander at the BRIT Awards to deliver a searing, gloriously queer rendition of Pet Shop Boys’ 1987 hit “It’s a Sin”.

The song has taken on new meaning since Russell T Davies’ AIDS-era drama of the same name debuted on Channel 4 in January.

Years & Years star Olly Alexander and music legend Elton John used their BRIT Awards performance to remind audiences at home that the fight against HIV is not yet won.

Introducing the pair, John’s husband David Furnish told people watching at home that antiretroviral drugs make HIV undetectable and untrabnsmittable, meaning people with the virus live long, healthy and fulfilled lives.

“By fighting together, we’ve changed the world. Today, HIV is no longer a death sentence,” he said.

“The fight goes on until we can banish stigma, ignorance, fear and the virus itself forever,” Furnish added, before Alexander and John launched into their performance.

BRIT Awards viewers were blown away by Olly Alexander and Elton John’s ‘It’s a Sin’ performance

Elton John and Years & Years’ BRIT Awards performance of “It’s a Sin” kicked off with Alexander lying on a grand piano wearing a black lace outfit, complete with a crop top, while John played the piano.

Alexander and John’s version of the song started as a ballad before transitioning into a high-octane, synth-fuelled track as dancers filled the enormous stage in London’s O2.

The powerfully queer performance included reams of confetti, drag queens and an enormous troupe of dancers.

The pair’s take on “It’s a Sin” ended with Alexander on the main stage as John played the piano, transitioning back into a slow, heartfelt ballad.

The pair have also released a recorded duet of the song on streaming platforms, with proceeds going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

People watching the BRIT Awards at home were blown away by the performance, while many took to social media to share their thoughts.

Alexander and John unveiled details of their duet on Instagram on Tuesday (11 May). Both singers shared images on their accounts making up the words “It’s a Sin”, while a separate image was shared on the official BRITs Instagram account.

A source told The Sun that the performance was “a last-minute decision” ash only emerged after the pair because “unlikely pals”.

When the idea of a collaboration was floated, both Alexander and John jumped at the opportunity, the source said.

Related topics: Elton John, Olly Alexander, years and years

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