NME Awards: Slowthai confronts fan after winning hero of the year

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Rapper Slowthai has been criticised for a violent confrontation with an audience member at the NME Awards.

The 25-year-old had just picked up the hero of the year award – voted for by the public – when he was heckled by a member of the crowd.

Slowthai had made sexual comments towards Katherine Ryan, and was accused of making her uncomfortable.

The rapper dropped his microphone into the crowd, which was then thrown back at him – along with a drink.

Comedian Katherine – who’s since tweeted to say Slowthai “didn’t make me uncomfortable” – was seen trying to diffuse the situation from the stage along with co-host Julie Adenuga.

Videos on social media from before the incident show Slowthai and the Canadian comedian with their arms around each other, with Julie Adenuga asking “What is happening?” after Slowthai told Katherine to smell his cologne.

Julie called for Mura Masa – who opened the awards with Slowthai collaboration Deal Wiv It – to come and get the Northampton artist.

“Babygirl, I don’t want to have to do this to you right now, but everybody – she needs to understand the levels right now,” Slowthai said to Katherine.

“If you want to do something, see me later,” he said before walking off.

A bit later on they were together again, with Slowthai telling the crowd: “She wants me to tend to her flowers” and Katherine responding that she “loves” him.

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Katherine Ryan later said Slowthai “didn’t make me uncomfortable”

“Thank you for the attention,” she said, adding, “You are younger than my babysitter”, as he left the stage.

Plenty of people watching at home and in the Brixton Academy in south London tweeted to say that Katherine was using sarcasm to “mask her discomfort”.

But the host has since tweeted to say that she wasn’t uncomfortable.

She added in a reply to someone that: “He was fine. I’m the kind of woman he can say whatever he likes to! He’s fun.”

It was after this that the Mercury-nominated rapper collected the hero of the year award – and the scuffle began.

“NME, thank you,” he said, before pointing down at someone in the audience, saying “thank you for ruining my speech” and dropping his mic from the stage.

Someone then used the mic that Slowthai had dropped to call him a “wasteman”, before the microphone and a drink were launched at him.

The 25-year-old threw his own drink back before jumping down into the crowd and being held back by security.

The winners

Up to that point it had been a good night for Slowthai, who also won best collaboration with Mura Masa for Deal Wiv it.

He’d been nominated in six other categories.

Taylor Swift was also honoured at the ceremony, picking up the best solo act in the world award.

The singer told the audience that thanks to a previous NME award she won she is now able to display two of the middle finger-shaped trophies side by side in her home.

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Taylor Swift was at the event in south London

She added: “This is like the craziest awards show I have ever been to, thank you.”

In the other categories Little Simz picked up the award for best British album for GREY Area, while AJ Tracey won best British song with Ladbroke Grove.

The best album in the world award went to Lana Del Rey’s Norman F***ing Rockwell, while best song in the world went to Billie Eilish for Bad Guy.

Best British solo artist went to FKA twigs and best British band was chosen as The 1975.

US heavy metal band Slipknot won the best band in the world gong.

Newsbeat has contacted Slowthai’s management for comment.

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