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Brit Awards 2013: Ben Howard, Adele and Emeli Sandé triumph

Ben Howard

Story by Jack Foley

BEN Howard, Emeli Sandé and Adele were among the big winners at the 2013 Brit Awards in London.

Howard took home best British male and breakthrough, Sandé won best British female and British album and Adele won best single for her James Bond theme Skyfall.

Howard was one of the night’s big surprise winners, especially in the best British breakthrough category where he beat the bookmakers’ favourite Rita Ora.

But in the best British male category, he also triumphed over Plan B, Olly Murs, Calvin Harris and Richard Hawley.

Clearly stunned, he said of the latter: “Wow, thank you very much. That’s bizarre isn’t it? I didn’t really expect to, erm… I was quite stoked to come to the awards to be honest, so to come away with two of these things is amazing, so thank you all very much.”

Sandé, who had entered the event with four nominations in total, including two in the best single category, was also clearly chuffed and described herself as “a very unlikely pop star” after scooping the best album statuette.

She continued: “This is an album I wrote because I didn’t have the confidence to say these things in person. For me, that so many people have connected with this album and found strength in these words makes me feel incredible and it doesn’t make me feel as lonely.”

The album in question, Our Version Of Events, was the most popular of 2012 in the UK, selling 1.4 million copies.

Adele opted not to attend this year’s ceremony because she is in Los Angeles rehearsing for her appearance at the Oscars on Sunday. But she sent in a video message, in which she cheekily referenced last year’s Brit ceremony when her best album acceptance speech was cut short.

Her message was: “Thank you so much for this Brit Award, it means a lot. [And] sorry I can’t be with you tonight, I’m in LA rehearsing for the Oscars. I won’t keep you too long because I don’t want to interrupt the best album speech at the end of the night. But I love you all.”

In other prizes, folk rockers Mumford and Sons added to their recent Grammy successes by being named best British group, prompting Marcus Mumford to tell the crowd: “We weren’t really expecting that. We were in a group with Muse and One Direction, so it’s a surprise. We love being British and we love going around the world and telling people we’re British, so we’re very proud and very grateful.”

Coldplay won best British live act, beating The Rolling Stones, who were nominated 35 years after they were shortlisted for the first ever Brit Awards.

In the international categories, The Black Keys won best group, Frank Ocean was named best male and Lana Del Rey picked up best female, while there was a special recognition award for the charity War Child.

And despite losing out to Mumford & Sons in the best British group category, boy band One Direction were presented with a “global success award” in recognition of their hit status overseas.

The five-piece were among several live acts to perform at the O2 Arena venue, playing the first live version of their Comic Relief single, a medley of Blondie’s One Way Or Another and The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks.

They were joined by fellow live performers Robbie Williams, Muse, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake.

Comedian James Corden returned as host this year.

View the winners and nominees in full