The BRIT Awards 2021 with Mastercard today announces that multi-million selling international superstar and songwriter of a generation Taylor Swift will be the first female artist to be presented with the BRITs Global Icon award at this year’s ceremony, which takes place Tuesday 11th May, in recognition of her immense impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date. According to the Official Charts Company, Taylor is the UK’s biggest selling artist of the year to date in 2021.

11-time Grammy award winner Taylor Swift - the first ever female artist to win the Grammy for Album of the Year three times - has sold over 114m albums worldwide with total global audio + video streams reaching 78billion. She is the only artist in history to have four consecutive albums sell over one million copies in their week of release (Speak Now, RED, 1989 and reputation), the only artist to have nine albums each sell at least half a million copies in a single week (Fearless, Speak Now, RED, 1989, reputation, Lover, folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version)), and the first and only female artist in the 21st century to score seven #1 studio albums in the UK. Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) debuted at #1 around the world, marking the only time in history that a female artist has debuted three #1 albums in less than a year, breaking a long held record on the UK Official Charts. She is nominated for a second BRIT award this year for International Female Solo Artist, her sixth BRIT nomination to date.

Taylor’s career is unparalleled and her music and influence has resonated with millions of people all over the world. She’s used her platform to highlight many issues globally and  recently has been applauded for her work promoting acceptance of  the LGBTQ community. In the US Taylor created a petition encouraging her fanbase to get behind the Equality Act -which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and other public accommodations.

The BRITs Icon is the highest accolade given by The BRIT Awards and is reserved for truly exceptional artists. Taylor becomes the inaugural female artist to become a recipient with previous winners being Elton John, Robbie Williams and David Bowie.

Like all winners on the night, Taylor will be presented with not one, but two trophies that make up this year’s BRIT award. From two of Britain’s most in-demand visual artists, Es Devlin OBE and Yinka Ilori MBE, the BRITs’ first collaborative double-trophy design incorporates two statuettes, with each winner encouraged to award the second smaller trophy on to someone else - be it family member, friend, neighbour, colleague, fellow artist, key worker, or another person important to them.

The BRIT Awards last month announced that it will be the first major indoor music event to welcome back a live audience – with 2,500 tickets gifted by the recorded music industry to frontline heroes and their guests via a ballot (which has now closed). The indoor ceremony and live show will form part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme, using enhanced testing approaches to examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing, which means The BRITs, working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, and as the first live music show at The O2 arena in over a year, 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.

This year’s BRIT Awards will take place 11th May at The O2 arena, exclusively broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub and hosted by award winning comedian and actor Jack Whitehall. Nominations were unveiled at the end of March, with Celeste, Dua Lipa, Joel Corry and Young T & Bugsey joining Arlo Parks in receiving three nominations each, and Jessie Ware, J Hus, Bicep, AJ Tracey up for two awards as with Headie One.

Confirmed to perform on the show are: Arlo Parks, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Griff - this year’s Rising Star award winner - Headie One, Olivia Rodrigo, and Rag’n’Bone Man & P!nk with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir.

Mastercard return as headline partner for the 23rd year, having supported The BRITs for over two decades, bringing cardholders closer to music through a range of priceless experiences - from tickets to the BRITs, or Priceless Surprises with some of the UK’s best loved artists. This year, Mastercard will continue to sponsor the much sought after Mastercard Album award, as well as British Single with Mastercard for the first time and is proud to carry on connecting people to priceless possibilities.  Amazon Music is the Official Digital Music Partner for a second year and will host the Official BRIT Awards 2021 playlist as well as sponsor the Male and Female Solo Artist categories.