The London ceremony drew 4,000 guests, including 2,500 key health workers and their guests who had received tickets in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.
Billie Eilish and Tyler the Creator were among the international winners at the awards, which have been criticised for a dearth of female nominees.
Female artists are dominating next month's BRIT Awards with singers Anne-Marie, Dua Lipa, Jess Glynne and George Ezra among the nominees.
Following up on gestures at the Golden Globes, Grammys and British film awards, guests at Britain's biggest music awards show were given flowers or white rose pins to wear in solidarity with the Time's Up movement.
Bowie, who died in January 2016, is the first person to win a posthumous award in Brits history.
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