Elton John and Olly Alexander surprise BRIT Awards with moving It’s a Sin duet: ‘Pure queer pop perfection’
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.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Elton John and Olly Alexander’s #brits2021 duet to It’s A Sin by the Pet Shop Boys (complete with rainbow confetti) was the gayest thing I have ever seen and I am absolutely obsessed
— James Besanvalle (@JamesBesanvalle) May 11, 2021
— Jack Duncan🔻 (@JackDunc1) May 11, 2021
Wow! @alexander_olly singing #ItsASin with Elton John, draped over the piano like a cabaret diva is pure queer pop perfection! Olly, this is ASTONISHING ❤️😍🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️😍❤️ #brits2021 #brits pic.twitter.com/ZnhmwuuVQY
— Monty Moncrieff MBE (@MontyMoncrieff) May 11, 2021
Performance of the night! Olly Alexander (Years & Years) and Elton John incredible 👏🏼 #brits2021
— Sophie 🏳️🌈 (@PoyntersArmy) May 11, 2021
Obsessed with Elton John, club singer. #brits2021
— Seanerella 💭 (@Seanerella) May 11, 2021
— Steph❤️🐘 (@ItsSteph_x) May 11, 2021
— electronic max @ CHI2021 (@emax) May 11, 2021
That Brit Awards performance by Olly Alexander and Elton John was absolutely beautiful, the best performance of the night for me already, no-one else can compare to that beauty ✨🧡💛💚💙💜❤️ #brits2021
— Millie Jane Talbot 🦒✨ (@mills_talbot) May 11, 2021
was stunned to silence for the elton john/years & years collab. amazing ✨
— nessa⁷ 🧈✌🏻 (@starsorlights) May 11, 2021
Elton John & Olly Alexander are the duo we most definitely needed 🥺 #brits2021
— Amelia-Lily🧚🏻♀️ (@ameliagraceeros) May 11, 2021
Gorgeous! Elton John and Olly Alexander doing the most sublime rendition of 'It's A Sin'. https://t.co/Th5WXSYUmc
— Adam Lowe, AKA Beyonce Holes (@adambeyoncelowe) May 12, 2021
elton john and years & years are absolutely owning the BRITs right now 🙌🏼
— ivvs x (@ivvsssss) May 11, 2021
— Jo Sullivan (@jomsull78) May 11, 2021
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.