Duffy takes home trio of Brit Awards

Kings of Leon wins best international group

LONDON -- Pop act Duffy was the big winner at the 2009 Brit Awards staged at London's Earls Court, taking home three awards.

The Welsh singer, whose debut set, "Rockferry" (A&M/Universal), was the biggest-selling album in the U.K. in 2008 with 1.68 million sold according to the Official Charts Co., won the Brits for British female, British breakthrough act and British album.

Collecting her first award for British female, she said: "It's a good job my mother didn't have a boy." She beat rivals M.I.A., Adele, Beth Rowley and Estelle.

"I don't mean to be greedy," she added upon collecting her second Brits honor.

For her final award, for British album, Duffy was tearful as she accepted her Brit from fellow Welsh singer Tom Jones. She also performed "Warwick Avenue" at the ceremony.

The awards show was screened live on ITV1 and was opened by U2 performing their new single "Get on Your Boots" (Mercury/Universal), with Bono singing on a platform in front of a giant screen showing images of the British union flag and the Irish flag.

Nashville rock band Kings of Leon won the international group award as well as the international album Brit for "Only By the Night" (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment). The current Billboard cover stars acknowledged the importance of the British market to their success.

"Thank you, God, thank you, mom, thank you U.K.," drummer Nathan Followill told the audience. "Without y'all, we would be nothing."

"If it weren't for England, Kings of Leon wouldn't be a band right now," added singer and guitarist Caleb Followill when they collected their second Brit. The band also performed "Use Somebody."

Elbow was something of a surprise in the British group category, beating Coldplay, whose "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" (Parlophone/EMI) was the biggest global seller of 2008 according to the IFPI with sales of 6.8 million. However, Elbow, winners of the 2008 Nationwide Mercury Music Prize for "The Seldom Seen Kid" (Fiction/Polydor), proved a popular choice with the crowd.

Katy Perry beat Beyonce, Gabriella Cilmi, Pink and Santogold to the international female award. The Virgin/EMI recording artist also hinted that she had been tipped off about her win. "I'm so sick right now," she told the cheering crowd. "But they said I should show up to the Brits because something special might happen."

The British single award, decided by a phone vote on the night, was won by girl group Girls Aloud for "The Promise" (Fascination/Polydor).

The ceremony was presented by Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue and comedy actor James Corden.

Reformed boy band Take That performed on a UFO-style platform above the crowd, which then descended into the middle of the room. Other performers included Girls Aloud, Coldplay -- who went home empty-handed -- and alt-rock duo the Ting Tings with Estelle.

Pop veterans Pet Shop Boys received the outstanding contribution to music honor and the duo was joined by Lady GaGa and the Killers' Brandon Flowers during their closing performance.

A complete list of Brit Awards winners is on the next page.

A complete list of Brit Awards winners follows:

British female
Duffy (A&M/Universal)

International female
Katy Perry (Virgin/EMI)

British breakthrough act
Duffy (A&M/Universal)

International group
Kings of Leon (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment)

British male
Paul Weller (Island/Universal)

International album
Kings of Leon, "Only by the Night" (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment)

British live act

Iron Maiden (EMI)

British group
Elbow (Fiction/Polydor)

Critics' choice
Florence And The Machine (Island/Universal)

International male

Kanye West (Mercury/Universal)

British single

Girls Aloud, "The Promise" (Fascination/Polydor).

British album
Duffy "Rockferry" (A&M/Universal)

Outstanding contribution to music
Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone/EMI)

The Brits voting academy decided most of the awards winners, with the exception of public votes for the British single award (in association with commercial radio and the Sun newspaper), the breakthrough award (in association with Radio 1) and the live award (in association with Radio 2). A panel of critics picked the critics' choice winner, and U.K. trade body the BPI's council chose Pet Shop Boys for the outstanding contribution award.