Dua Lipa's BRITs speech emotionally honors Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole

Who is Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole, the man spotlighted in Dua Lipa BRITs acceptance speech?

Dua Lipa Brits - Lipa receives the award for Best Female Solo Artist during The BRIT Awards 2021 at The O2 Arena
(Image credit: JMEnternational/Getty)

The Brit Awards 2021 have come and gone, and there was plenty to talk about: Olivia Rodrigo performed her hit "Drivers License," Little Mix made history winning Best British Group, Harry Styles was a responsible mask-wearing king, and more. 

But one of the most emotional moments of the night came right at the end of the ceremony when our favorite modern-day disco queen Dua Lip won the top award of the night, the Mastercard Album of the Year, for her record Future Nostalgia. 

Dua Lipa Brits acceptance speech

The singer—who performed a medley of hits including "Physical" and "Hallucinate" at the ceremony—won for Female Solo Artist earlier in the night, boldly using her acceptance speech to call out Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give NHS front-line workers a fair pay raise. "It's very good to clap for them, but we need to pay them!" she said in her speech.

Dua Lipa kept the outspoken theme going with her Album of the Year acceptance speech, in which she spotlighted Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, known as Jimi, and Joaquin Garcia. Lipa said: "Jimi and Joaquin heroically attempted to rescue a woman who had fallen from London Bridge, and tragically Jimi did not survive."

Who is Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole?

On April 24th around midnight, Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole and Joaquin Garcia heard a woman's screams coming from the River Thames near London Bridge.

Both jumped in to save the drowning woman, who had fallen from the bridge, but emergency services only managed to rescue Garcia and the woman. Tragically, Olubunmi-Adewole—a 20-year-old student from South London—could not be rescued and his body was found by City of London Police six hours later. London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Olubunmi-Adewole a "true hero of our city." 

During that Dua Lipa Brits moment, Lipa honored the late young man, saying: "Jimi and Joaquin knowingly put themselves in danger and they did it without hesitation, even though they were a stranger to each other and the woman that they were rescuing."

She continued: "It'd be really fitting if their actions were recognized with a bravery award and I hope this can happen to give Jimi's family some comfort. This award is for Jimi and Joaquin. Jimi, you have touched the hearts of a whole nation and we will never forget you."

Brit Awards 2021: Why are there two trophies? 

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One new element of the Brit Awards tonight was that winners would also receive a second statuette along with their main award that they can then give to someone else as an act of kindness, reports the BBC. The designs by artists Es Devlin and Yinka Ilori were inspired by the pandemic lockdown.

Devlin told the BBC she wanted winners to forward their mini trophy to "someone they consider worthy—it might be recognition or it might be someone that does something entirely unrelated to music."

Ilori added that the design for the secondary statuettes came from "the experience of lockdown, where your neighbor you've lived beside for six years and never say hello to suddenly gave you flowers, foods, acts of kindness."

In the case of Dua Lipa, Brits statue #2 was dedicated to Jimi Olubunmi-Adewole and Joaquin Garcia.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.