Dua Lipa on Tuesday emerged as the big winner at the gala BRIT Awards ceremony, adding the best British female solo artist and best album prizes - for "Future Nostalgia" - to her professionals credits.

The British singer-songwriter of Albanian-Kosovar descent was the key figure at the awards ceremony broadcast live, the first such event held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and with 4,000 people in the live audience, many of them "essential workers" who had received free tickets to the event.

Coldplay opened the evening with a memorable performance from a platform on the River Thames before London's O2 Arena, and with colorful fireworks and holograms presented their new single "Higher Power."

Dua Lipa took the baton outfitted in the Union Jack, the British flag, as she gave a "glam" simulation of traveling on the London metro - known as The Underground - and performing several of her most popular hits, including "Hallucinate," "Don't Start Now" and "Physical."

Women were the big stars of the night and took home the majority of the awards, with four of the five nominess in the most important Best Album category being females.

Dua Lipa, who was presented with two of the three awards for which she had been nominated, used her acceptance remarks to emphasize the role of women in industry, as well as among the frontline workers during the pandemic.

She said that it was all very well to applaud the frontline workers but they also had to be paid appropriately, and - to substantial applause from the audience - she asked everyone to send a message to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for a fair pay raise for such workers.