BRIT Awards 2012: Adele, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay Win Big
Adele's already packed award shelf just got that extra bit crowded. On top of the six Grammy Awards that the "Someone Like You" singer picked up earlier this month, Adele took home two of the biggest prizes at the 2012 Brit Awards, held tonight (Feb. 21) at London's O2 Arena.
The 23-year-old London-born artist won British female solo artist and British album of the year for her triumphant sophomore set 21 (XL Recordings). Receiving the award for album of the year, Adele said: "Nothing makes me prouder than coming home with six Grammys and then coming to the Brits and winning album of the year. I'm so proud to be British and to be flying the flag."
The ceremony, which is the United Kingdom's largest annual music awards show, also marked the singer's first U.K. live performance since recovering from throat surgery. In stark contrast to her memorable stripped-back performance of "Someone Like You" at last year's event, Adele performed a towering version of "Rolling in the Deep," backed by a nine-piece band that ended with a standing ovation from the crowd.
Ed Sheeran, who performed his hit U.K. single "Lego House" at the show, took home awards for British male solo artist and British breakthrough act. Collecting the male solo artist award, Sheeran, who recently turned 21, told the audience: "I honestly didn't think I'd get this one. I want to thank my family, the fans, every single promoter that has ever booked me, every single radio DJ that has ever played me and my label."
Coldplay, who opened the event with an explosive, pyrotechnic-laden run through Mylo Xyloto track "Charlie Brown," won best British group, as voted by listeners of the U.K.'s most popular radio station, BBC Radio 2. Collecting the award, drummer Will Champion said "We have to say a very special thank you to all the discerningly, beautiful, intelligent, clever Radio 2 listeners."
"We're so happy to get this award and we thank everybody who is still listening to us," added singer Chris Martin.
Other standout performances on the night included: former Oasis man Noel Gallagher, who was joined by Coldplay's Chris Martin on the piano for "AKA… What A Life!," taken from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds eponymous solo debut; Florence and the Machine, performing "No Light No Light," and Bruno Mars, who delivered a smooth rendition of "Just The Way You Are," taken from his multi-million selling debut Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
Mars also took home the award for international male solo artist, while Rihanna won international female artist, beating Beyonce and Lady Gaga to the title. Collecting the award, the singer -- who performed her U.S. and U.K. No. 1 smash "We Found Love" at the glitzy bash -- dedicated her award "To all the radio DJs, to all the music channels, everybody at Mercury [Records], Universal, Roc Nation and to all my fans who continue to support me. I love you. This is for you."
Meanwhile, Lana Del Rey continued her stunning start to 2012 (in the U.K., anyway) by winning the international breakthrough act award. Accepting the award, a visibly moved Del Rey told the audience: "This [award] means much more to me than you know and I just want to say that without the support of everyone in the room I'd really be lost."
As previously announced, Emeli Sande won the Brits Critic's Choice award. The Scottish singer is currently at No.1 in the U.K. albums charts with her debut studio set Our Version of Events (Virgin Records/EMI).
U.K. vocal group One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" (Syco/Sony Music Entertainment) delivered one of the few upsets of the night by winning best single, ahead of Adele's "Someone Like You." The award was voted by listeners of U.K. Top 40-formated radio station Capital FM. One Direction is set to support Big Time Rush on a U.S. tour beginning Feb. 24 in Chicago, with the group's debut album, Up All Night, to be released March 20 in the U.S. on Syco/Columbia.
The award for international group went to Foo Fighters, who accepted via video message. "The U.K. is like our second home," said band member Taylor Hawkins. "I feel like it's the first place that really got the Foo Fighters in a big way. To win best international act, we'll cherish it forever," he went on to say.
The ceremony, which also contained moving video tributes to Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse, culminated in a rousing five-song set from U.K. indie act Blur, who picked up the outstanding contribution to music award. Accepting the award, frontman Damon Albarn said: "Last time we were here was 17 years ago and what happened that night had a very profound effect on our lives. It's very nice to come back and accept this honour."
The full list of winners below:
British Male Solo Artist: Ed Sheeran
British Female Solo Artist: Adele
Mastercard British Album of the Year: Adele, 21
British Breakthrough Act: Ed Sheeran
British Group: Coldplay
British Single: One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
International Female Solo Artist: Rihanna
International Group: Foo Fighters
International Breakthrough Act: Lana Del Rey
Outstanding Contribution to Music: Blur
Critics Choice: Emeli Sandé