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Bowie ‘becomes’ oldest Brit winner Arctic Monkeys steal show

LONDON, Feb 20, (Agencies): British cultural giant David Bowie on Wednesday became the oldest winner of a Brit Award, but the annual awards ceremony belonged to history-making rockers Arctic Monkeys, who claimed the night’s top two awards. Bowie, 67, was not present at London’s cavernous O2 Arena to receive his best British Male Solo Artist award — his first Brit prize since 1984 — but sent a message read out by supermodel Kate Moss. “I’m completely delighted to have a Brit for being the best male — but I am, aren’t I Kate?” the model said on his behalf. “I think it’s a great way to end the day. Thank you very, very much and Scotland stay with us,” he added, in reference to September’s upcoming independence referendum. Bowie, who made an unexpected comeback last year with album “The Next Day”, surpassed Welsh crooner Tom Jones, who received an honorary prize for his outstanding contribution to music in 2003, aged 62. Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, who was co-presenting the award, laughed off Bowie’s absence, saying: “You people didn’t think he’d actually be here. David Bowie’s too cool for that.”

Highest
But it was Sheffield four-piece Arctic Monkeys who claimed the highest honours, becoming the first band to win the coveted best Album and British Group awards for a third time.
The indie foursome burst onto the scene in 2005 with debut single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, and have since developed a harder edge, as demonstrated on critically acclaimed fifth album “AM”.
“Yeah that rock and roll — it seems like its fading away sometimes, but it will never die,” frontman Alex Turner said on accepting the award.
Speaking backstage, he added: “It feels wonderful. It’s wonderful to receive that acknowledgement on a night that celebrates British music.”
The band opened proceedings with a live performance of “R U Mine?”, before US pop royalty Prince took to the stage to present singer Ellie Goulding with the British Female Solo Artist award.
 

The diminutive “Purple Rain” star — on tour in the UK — thanked London for making him feel “extra special loved,” adding it had been “wonderful”, before posing for a “selfie” with host James Corden.
There was a shock in the International Female Solo Artist category, where New Zealand teenager Lorde beat off competition from Lady Gaga while Bruno Mars claimed the International Male Solo Artist award.
Teen heartthrobs One Direction won the best video prize for their single “Best Song Ever”, and earlier signed autographs for hordes of fans as they made their way down the red carpet.
It was the first time the best video award had been decided by social media, with voting open to fans around the world on YouTube in a bid to boost its international status.
The group earlier won the award for the world’s biggest British act, but had to go on stage to collect the prize without band-member Harry Styles, who later claimed he was “having a wee” when the announcement was made.
Soul diva Beyonce entertained the crowd with worldwide smash “XO”, before fellow US superstar Katy Perry presented best British Single to electro quartet Rudimental.
US star Pharrell Williams and legendary pop songwriter Nile Rodgers brought the night to a close, performing a medley that included “Get Lucky”, their joint smash hit with Daft Punk.
 

Claimed
The enigmatic French duo were earlier named best International Group, which Rodgers claimed on their behalf.
Bowie aside, the evening was a polished if predictable showcase of British musical talent which spread its prizes widely.
Rock band Bastille was named British breakthrough act, and British single of the year went to drum ‘n’ bass quartet Rudimental for “Waiting All Night.”
Rodgers joked that some people had said “those old-school guys can’t make a funky record. I guess they were wrong.”
Britain’s music industry sees the Brits — the UK equivalent of the Grammys — as an important stage for new talent. Wednesday’s awards bash, hosted by actor-comedian James Corden, featured a slew of rising British contenders — among them Bastille, Disclosure, Rudimental and Goulding — after a couple of years in which Adele and One Direction ruled the roost.
The Brits had a longtime reputation for haphazard presentation, but have smartened up in recent years as a showcase for British sound and style, with a sprinkling of big-name international acts.
 

This year’s slim black-and-white Brits statuette was designed by royal-favorite hat-maker Philip Treacy, the latest in a line of UK designers drafted in to tweak the awards’ image.
Most winners are chosen by a ballot of some 1,000 music-industry members, with several selected by public vote — including a best video category decided by social-media ballot during the broadcast. It went, unsurprisingly, to One Direction.
Opening the event with their track “R U Mine”, in the shadow of giant versions of the letters “AM”, flaming and suspended in mid-air, Arctic Monkeys were performing at the BRITs for the first time despite their multiple successes there over the last eight years.
In the past, the band had responded frostily to their BRIT wins. This year, they were odds-on favourites to win both the awards they were up for, and their BRITs silverware count is now seven.

Winners
n British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
n British Female Solo Artist: Ellie Goulding
n British Breakthrough Act: Bastille
n British Group: Arctic Monkeys
n British Single: Rudimental ft Ella Eyre — “Waiting All Night”
n British video: One Direction — “Best Song Ever”
n British Album of the Year: Arctic Monkeys — “AM”
n International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
n International Female Solo Artist: Lorde
n International Group: Daft Punk
n Critics’ Choice: Sam Smith
n British producer: Flood and Alan Moulder

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