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LONDON – The BRIT Awards, the biggest U.K. music awards show of the year, brought together industry folks and stars in the British capital Wednesday night as the Arctic Monkeys and One Direction each walked away with two honors.
Up-and-coming British bands Bastille and Disclosure had led the BRIT Awards nominations, being contenders in four categories each, with the former winning one honor as did Ellie Goulding, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Lorde and Rudimental. Bowie and Daft Punk weren’t in attendance to accept their awards.
The British version of the Grammys took place at London’s O2 Arena with performances from a who’s who of the music industry. Among the performers were Beyonce, who was confirmed as appearing by organizers on Twitter just as the show started, Katy Perry, Mars, Pharrell Williams who closed the show with Nile Rodgers, Lorde and Disclosure and Goulding. The Arctic Monkeys opened the show.
Comedian James Corden (Hulu’s The Wrong Mans, Disney’s upcoming Into the Woods) hosted the event for the fifth, and final, year in a row.
The U.K. music awards ceremony aired live on ITV in Britain, but this year was also looking to expand its global audience via a live stream on YouTube. In the U.S., Fuse aired the awards show.
Already announced before the event were the Critics’ Choice winner, Sam Smith, and British producer of the year, Flood & Alan Moulder.
Prince and 3rd Eye Girl came onto the stage early during the show to present the first BRIT Award of the night. Currently playing gigs around London, Prince has won five BRITs over the years and performed at the awards show in 2006.
“The O2…I remember this place,” Prince said before being interrupted by Corden who took a photo of himself with the star with his cell phone. Prince then thanked London audiences for having given him a great reception at his gigs in town. The first award of the night went to Goulding for best British female solo artist.
Last year, Emeli Sande, Ben Howard, Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean were among the big winners, with Adele getting the best British single accolade for “Skyfall.” She sent a taped thank you message due to Oscar rehearsals in L.A.
The BRIT Awards are determined by a 1,000-strong academy of music industry folks and fan votes.
Winners were crowned in a slew of categories. The categories and winners are listed below.
British Album of the Year:
Arctic Monkeys – AM (WINNER)
Bastille – Bad Blood
David Bowie – The Next Day
Disclosure – Settle
Rudimental – Home
Sande was on hand to announce the final winners of the night. It made the band the first ever to win the best band and best album honors three times each. “That rock’n’roll just won’t go away,” said singer Alex Turner. “The cyclical nature of the universe, in which it exists,” makes it rise and fall in terms of mass appeal and visibility. But it will never die, he added. He then said BRIT Awards organizers could invoice him for the microphone, which he dropped a second later.
Best British Video:
One Direction – “Best Song Ever” (WINNER)
Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
John Newman – “Love Me Again”
Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith – “La La La”
British comedian Jimmy Carr announced the award, for which fans voted on Twitter. “This is the biggest night of the year…for London’s drug dealers,” he quipped. He also suggested that Simon Cowell likely told his newborn son when he first saw him: “I don’t like you…I love you.” BRIT Awards host Corden co-wrote the song.
British radio and TV host Nick Grimshaw announced the award. Picking up her first-ever BRIT Award, New Zealander Lorde said she was still so new to winning awards that she feels like her head would explode.
Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame took to the stage to announce the nominees. Bowie wasn’t at the show to pick up the award. “David Bowie is too cool for that,” Gallagher said. Kate Moss went on stage to read a thank you note from Bowie. It ended with an appeal to Scotland to not leave the U.K. in an independence referendum later this year.
Best International Group:
Daft Punk (WINNER)
Kings of Leon
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Soccer star Cesc Fabregas and Nicole Scherzinger announced the award, but Daft Punk weren’t present. So, Nile Rodgers accepted the award for them. “I guess we got lucky,” he said in finishing an acceptance speech for them.
Corden interviewed Kylie Minogue after the award announcement. She confirmed that she was newly single and said she enjoyed listening to Pharrell Williams these days.
Best British Single:
Rudimental – “Waiting All Night” (WINNER)
Bastille – “Pompeii”
Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
Disclosure ft. Aluna George – “White Noise”
Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
Jon Newman – “Love Me Again”
Naughty Boy – “La La La”
Olly Murs – “Dear Darlin‘”
One Direction – “One Way or Another”
Passenger – “Let Her Go”
Perry announced the award.
Global Success Award:
One Direction (WINNER)
The group won the honor for a second year as four members of the boy band went on stage only to look for band mate Harry Styles. He arrived on stage late, saying he had to go to the toilet, which happened to be far away. “What did we win?” he asked, looking at his mates.
Lilly Allen announced the winners. The Arctic Monkeys previously won the same award in 2007 and 2008. Said singer Turner: “There are a lot of people that require thanks for this, but they need to hear their names read out about as much as you need to hear another list of people you don’t know. Thank you for the acknowledgement, have a wonderful evening.”
Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton announced the winners.
Best International Male:
Bruno Mars (WINNER)
Kylie Minogue and Pharrell Williams announced the winner who had also been honored in the same category in 2012. “We love coming out here, we love performing for you all,” Mars said, highlighting how many big names were nominated in the category.
The award was announced by Prince and 3rd Eye Girl.
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