Justin Bieber wasn’t at the UK’s BRIT Awards Wednesday night, but with the ongoing circus surrounding him he was always going to get a shout-out.
As it turns out, boy band One Direction were put in the frame by comedian-actor host James Corden when he chatted to the five-piece between performances and prize-giving.
Held at London’s O2 Arena, the portly Corden squeezed in at a table between Niall and Liam and asked the boys if they had any words for Bieber, who came off a turbulent 2013 into a so far catastrophic 2014 and is now front and center of two criminal charges with likely more to come.
After brief banter with One Direction about the event and the business of winning awards — the boys won the Global Success Award for the second year running and Best British Video in a public vote for “Best Song Ever” — Corden got stuck in:
“Who here was the first to get in touch or go and visit him in prison?” Corden asked.
Possibly nervous, given his Valentine’s hook-up with Bieber’s ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, member Niall laughed loudly at the question.
“Did you tell him what guys do to people who look like him in prison?” Corden then joked, referring insensitively to the serious subject of prison rape.” He went on, “Did you let him know… did anyone say lay off the bongs? “
Media-trained to the hilt four years after finishing third in the UK’s seventh series of The X Factor in 2010, 1D declined to answer those landmine Bieber-probes and instead squirmed under arena lights.
Louis Tomlinson, unofficial band leader then spontaneously replied to Corden’s query asking whether they had any advice for Bieber:
“Keep strong, and keep doing what you’re doing,” Tomlinson offered without irony and oddly echoing a message the teen star tweeted yesterday.
At which point Corden hilariously quipped back, “Well don’t keep doing what you are doing Justin! Louis, that’s the worst advice ever!”
We can’t really argue with that, but in any event One Direction showed their class by not taking pot shots at the Canadian star.
Equally popular heartthrob, Harry Styles had an funny-awkward moment during the band’s acceptance of their Global Success award.
Running onstage late after the other four members of the band Styles apologized, saying, “I’m really sorry, I was having a wee — the toilets are ages away. What did we win?”
Big wins of the BRITS seen here. Stand-out moments came from Prince and 3rd Eye Girl’s presentation of the Best British Female Solo Artist award to Ellie Goulding, and model Kate Moss’ acceptance of the Best British Male Solo Artist award for icon David Bowie who did not attend and, at 67, is the oldest BRITS recipient.
Meanwhile, Bieber has decamped to Atlanta, Georgia, where he’s currently renting out ATL music producer Dallas Austin’s “spaceship” pad and reportedly looking at upscale properties where his mentor Usher lives.
The 19-year-old’s legal team, led by high-profile lawyer Roy Black, are scheduled to appear in a Miami-Dade court today to ask Judge William Altfield to keep sealed surveillance videos of the singer “in various state of undress” at a police station after his suspected DUI arrest in Miami Beach last month while allegedly drag-racing.
News media organizations led by The Associated Press have filed an access request and a motion urging the release of the videos to the public under Florida’s public records law.
Over the last two days, a post-arrest Bieber tweeted a few messages to his over 49 million followers telling them he is, “Always working to get better (sic).”
One of Bieber’s last posts before signing off Wednesday typically didn’t hint at the turmoil he is likely to be feeling. But there’s no doubt these are perilous times for the pop prince.