Michael Jackson was given a special Artist of a Generation award. At the ceremony he accompanied his single "Earth Song" with a stage show, culminating with Jackson as a 'Christ-like figure' surrounded by children. Jarvis Cocker, of the band Pulp, mounted the stage in what he would later claim as protest at this portion of the performance. Cocker ran across the stage, lifting his shirt and pointing his (clothed) bottom in Jackson's direction. Cocker was subsequently questioned by the police on suspicion of causing injury towards three of the children in Jackson's performance, who were now on stage. No criminal proceedings followed. This was Jackson's penultimate performance in the UK before his death in 2009 - the final performance being at Wembley Stadium in 1997.
1996 saw the height of a well-documented feud between Britpop rivals, Oasis and Blur . The differing styles of the bands, coupled with their prominence within the Britpop movement, led the British media to seize upon the rivalry between the bands. Both factions played along, with the Gallaghers taunting Blur at the ceremony by singing a rendition of "Parklife" when they collected their "Best British Band" award (with Liam changing the lyrics to "Shite-life").