Before Madonna’s spectacular stage fall during Wednesday’s BRIT Awards, it was Kanye West’s controversial performance of his new single, All Day, that dominated chatter surrounding the gala.

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Shocked: The controversial rapper delivered an expletive-filled performance as he revealed the latest single from his yet-to-be released album that drew mixed reactions from the likes of Taylor Swift and Lionel Richie

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And, for many, the rapper’s repeated use of the N-word during his expletive-laden performance at London’s O2 proved highly offensive – not least of all to veteran musician Lionel Richie, 65.

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In an interview with the Daily Mirror, the All Night Long singer, who attended the show, said: ‘Am I fan of the N-word? Not coming from the 1960s and ’70s. Whereas the new world has embraced it.

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‘I don’t think it’s OK for a black man to use the N-word. I don’t like it – and I am a black man. I don’t think it should be said and become normal.’

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The former Commodores frontman went on to question 37-year-old Kanye’s potential for longevity in the business, given changing focus in the entertainment industry.

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He added: ‘Kanye is giving this generation shock value. How he carries on for the next 10 years we will see. The music business is more attention driven but you have to let it pass. Don’t even focus on it.Kanye West’s act gets mixed reaction from Lionel and Taylor

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Memorable: Kanye West left his fellow stars speechless as he debuted his new single, All Day, at the 2015 BRIT Awards on Wednesday evening

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 Shocked: The controversial rapper delivered an expletive-filled performance as he revealed the latest single from his yet-to-be released album that drew mixed reactions from the likes of Taylor Swift and Lionel Richie

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‘Because what we have going on in the world is to over the top. I mean, who are we fighting? There is more hunger and famine in the world today than there was when we did We Are The World.’

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Audience member Lionel was seen looking up at the stage open-mouthed as as Kanye unveiled the latest single from his yet-to-be released album.

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In the ferocious performance which saw the star sharing the stage with British grime artists such as Skepta, Krept and Konan, Jammer and Novelist, the rapper was heard saying the N-word at least three times despite ITV’s attempt to mute his swearing. 

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Controversial: The performance provoked a mixed reaction from viewers 

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Mob: In the ferocious performance which saw the star sharing the stage with British grime artists such as Skepta, Krept and Konan, Jammer and Novelist, the rapper was heard saying the N-word at least three times despite ITV’s attempt to mute his performance

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Taking to the stage just after watershed, Kanye was introduced on the stage by his wife Kim Kardashian.

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Dressed in an all-black ensemble, the stage was full of a mob of people and was mainly illuminated by a flame thrower.

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While there were two blow-torches on stage, it seems a mishap meant that only one torch worked during the performance as Kanye rapped alongside artists Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London on the track produced by Velous and French Montana.

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New music: Kanye rapped alongside artists Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London on the track produced by Velous and French Montana

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New music: Kanye rapped alongside artists Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London on the track produced by Velous and French Montana

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Mishap: While there were two blow-torches on stage, it seems a mishap meant that only one torch worked during the performance

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Mishap: While there were two blow-torches on stage, it seems a mishap meant that only one torch worked during the performance

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Inspired by the London riots? Dressed in an all-black ensemble, the stage was full of a mob of people and was mainly illuminated by a flame thrower

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Inspired by the London riots? Dressed in an all-black ensemble, the stage was full of a mob of people and was mainly illuminated by a flame thrower

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While the audience at London’s 02 arena were able to take in the full performance, viewers at home were unable to hear most of the track as ITV attempted to mute the explicit lyrics.

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The ‘Audio Muted’ sign in the corner of the screen signalled that ITV bosses were ordering the sound to be turned off.

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An ITV spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘ITV took the decision to use an audio mute during the performance. The Brits is broadcast live on ITV from 8pm to a wide audience.

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‘We have operated a short time delay as standard practice for some years on the show, to allow us to mute language that may be inappropriate for that wide audience, and elected to do so in this case, given the performance took place shortly after the 9pm watershed.’

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However, at one point one of the rappers was heard saying the word, ‘s***’, as well as the few times that that N-word slipped through the muting.

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Light up the night: A plume of fire was repeatedly fired into the air during Kanye's controversial performance 

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British Male Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran (presented by Rita Ora and Orlando Bloom)

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British Group: Royal Blood (presented by Jimmy Page)

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International Female Solo Artist: Taylor Swift (presented by Lewis Hamilton and Ellie Goulding)

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British Female Solo Artist: Paloma Faith (presented by Mark Ronson)

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Global Success Award: Sam Smith (presented by Kim Kardashian)

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International Male Solo Artist: Pharrell Williams (presented by Cara Delevingne)

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British Single: Mark Ronson (presented by Lisa Snowden and Lionel Richie)

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International Group: Foo Fighters (presented by John Bishop)

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British Breakthrough: Sam Smith (presented by Fearne Cotton and Charli XCX)

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British Artist Video Of The Year: One Direction (presented by Karlie Kloss and Jimmy Carr)

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British Album Of The Year: Ed Sheeran for Multiply (presented by Russell Crowe)

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Ferocious: While the audience at London’s 02 arena were able to take in the full performance, viewers at home were unable to hear most of the track as ITV attempted to mute the explicit lyrics

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Getting down: Taylor Swift soon got back into her usual award show behaviour as she was seen dancing away to the track on a slightly different beat compared to Kim Kardashian who was stood next to her

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Proud wife: Kim watched on as the rapper performed alongside the grime artists

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The song features the n-word 39 times and lyrics include: ‘Ye in the building like a hallway, n****, Big in the game like an arcade, n****, I jump in the whip, Audi R8, n****, Still got the 100 with the small face, n****’.

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Kanye reportedly kept the song so secret ahead of his performance that only his inner-circle were allowed to watch rehearsals.

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Lionel Richie was seen staring at the stage with a confused expression as he tried to make sense of the performance while Taylor Swift was spotted staring open-mouthed at the scenes before her.

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But she soon got back into her usual award show behaviour as she was seen dancing away to the track on a slightly different beat compared to Kim Kardashian who was stood next to her.

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However, at one point one of the rappers was heard saying the word, ‘s***’, as well as the few times that that N-word slipped through the muting

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In the hood: The BRIT awards provided a platform for more Kanye controversy on Wednesday night

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Here he comes: Taking to the stage just after watershed, Kanye was introduced on the stage by his wife Kim Kardashian and host Ant and Dec

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The gang: Having only been confirmed to perform the day before the show, Kanye’s performance once again divided opinion on social media

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Get your hands up: The rapper stunned with his performance of All Day 

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Having only been confirmed to perform the day before the show, Kanye’s performance once again divided opinion on social media.

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One user fumed: ‘Someone at @ITV needs to be sacked for this audio interference’.

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Another wrote: ‘Muting Kanye was dumb’.

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Divisive: Having only been confirmed to perform the day before the show, Kanye’s performance once again divided opinion on social media

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Under wraps: Kanye reportedly kept the song so secret ahead of his performance that only his inner-circle were allowed to watch rehearsals

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The N word: The song features the n-word 39 times and lyrics include Ye in the building like a hallway, n****, Big in the game like an arcade, n****, I jump in the whip, Audi R8, n****, Still got the 100 with the small face, n****'

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He's on fire: Kanye's flame-thrower lit up the stage during his performance at the O2 Arena 

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Big draw: Kanye and Kim were two of the biggest star's to attend Wednesday evening's show

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Some praised the performance as Annie Mac wrote: ‘That Kanye performance is the most powerful and impactful thing I have ever seen at the BRITS. Would have liked a 16 from Skepta though.’

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However another simply said: ‘Kanye West was atrocious’.

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MailOnline had contacted Kanye’s representatives for comment.

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Furious: Viewers were not pleased with ITV's censorship decision

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Furious: Viewers were not pleased with ITV’s censorship decision

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Pointless: Thousands flocked to Twitter to share their annoyance

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Pointless: Thousands flocked to Twitter to share their annoyance

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Interesting choice: Some felt the rapper was clearly inspired by the 2012 London riots

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Interesting choice: Some felt the rapper was clearly inspired by the 2012 London riots

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Powerful: Radio DJ Annie Mac had nothing but praise for the performance

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Powerful: Radio DJ Annie Mac had nothing but praise for the performance

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Not loving it: Another user clearly wasn't so taken

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Not loving it: Another user clearly wasn’t so taken

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  – MailOnline