Joan Armatrading makes surprise Bafta appearance during Little Simz performance

Joan Armatrading has made a surprise appearance at the Baftas, performing alongside Little Simz.

The prolific singer-songwriter, who was made a CBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours, joined the rapper and actress on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall for the track Selfish.

Armatrading, known for a string of popular records in the 70s and 80s, was applauded as she took to the stage along with the violin and cello players.

Dressed in black, she accompanied Little Simz performing her hit Heart On Fire with backing vocals.

GQ Men of the Year Awards
Little Simz performed her hit Heart On Fire (Ian West/PA)

Armatrading, 72, has continued to release albums since her 1972 debut, Whatever’s For Us.

The St Kitts-born and Birmingham-raised musician’s workmanlike attitude to songwriting has produced a catalogue of more than 20 records, winning her three Grammy nominations and an Ivor Novello Award.

Armatrading is celebrated for her contralto voice and varied musical style, taking in folk, jazz, blues, soul and rock.

Little Simz appeared at the Baftas following a breakthrough 2022 that saw her win the Brit Award for best new artist as well as the coveted Mercury Prize for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.

The musician also has a starring role in Bafta-winning series Top Boy, playing Shelley, a young mother and love interest of Ashley Walters’ gang boss Dushane Hill.