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Brit Awards 2015: Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran share glory

Ed Sheeran

Story by Jack Foley

ED Sheeran and Sam Smith were among the big winners at the 2015 Brit Awards, claiming several of the night’s top prizes between them.

Smith, who led the field going into the evening at London’s O2 Arena on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, claimed the global success award in recognition of his international achievements, as well as the British breakthrough act.

The 22-year-old pop singer was the only artist to sell more than a million albums in both the UK and US last year.

Sheeran, however, claimed what were arguably the night’s biggest prizes: British male solo artist and the highly coveted British album of the year for his current LP, X, both ahead of Smith.

Receiving his trophy for best album from Australian actor and director Russell Crowe, a clearly delighted – and notably humble – Sheeran said: “It [the album] took a long time to make and I didn’t expect this. It’s been a very good year for British music and I think it’s a night to celebrate the whole thing.”

As he left the stage, he also directed a comment towards Crowe, saying: “It’s nice to meet you.” Before then adding: “Sick.”

Smith, though, also had a night to remember. And upon accepting his earlier breakthrough prize, he told the audience: “Since I was a little kid I dreamed of people all over the world singing my songs and although I’ve got a long way to go, this shows that I’m stepping in the right direction. So, thank you to all my fans.”

Other notable winners on the night included Paloma Faith, who was crowned best British female solo artist on the third time of asking. She had previously been nominated on two more occasions, in 2011 and 2013.

Bursting with emotion, the singer said: “I’m so moved! It’s been a long time coming. It’s taken me 14 years to stand up here and accept this award and it means so much to me.”

She also dedicated the victory to “all the underdogs and all the grafters”.

One of the bigger surprises, meanwhile, came in the category for British group, which went to emerging rockers Royal Blood ahead of the more established likes of Coldplay and One Direction.

Clearly astonished, the band’s lead singer told the audience: “This is a huge surprise for us, probably more of a surprise for everyone here as you may not even know who we are. This is huge, so thank you.”

Elsewhere, Mark Ronson won the award for best British single, for his chart-topping Uptown Funk with Bruno Mars. And upon picking up his trophy, the super-producer acknowledged the involvement of Mars in helping to make the single such a gargantuan success.

“This is incredible,” he said, while holding the trophy aloft. “I wouldn’t be holding this without the world’s most talented Hawaiian, Mr Bruno Mars, and I’m going to share this with him for sure.”

One Direction didn’t leave empty-handed, picking up British artist video of the year for their single You And I. Simon Cowell received the trophy on their behalf as the boys are currently in Japan.

Of the international awards, Foo Fighters were crowned best international group, adding to their NME Award in the same category last week.

And like last week, the band were not around to collect their trophy, with frontman Dave Grohl appearing via a video link to say: “Sorry we couldn’t make it to the party tonight, but we’ll be there soon.”

There were no amazing announcements on this occasion, though, as the US rockers had already revealed they would be one of the headline acts for this year’s Glastonbury.

Another no-show winner was Pharrell, who claimed best international male artist. He also appeared by video link waving his Brit and saying: “I appreciate you guys, your great nation, for turning the song [Happy] into what it’s become. It means the world so it’s an honour for me to hold this.”

However, the winner of the best international female artist, Taylor Swift, was on hand to receive her trophy, having earlier opened the ceremony with a live performance.

Clearly delighted with the accolade, Swift told the audience: “Honestly, I know I wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for one of my best friends, who took me to pubs and taught me to make a cup of tea. Ed Sheeran! And my other British friends Cara (Delevingne) and Ellie (Goulding) and Sam (Smith).

“I’m very lucky to have them in my life. I’m very lucky to have my British fans – I love you and I’m very lucky to have my first Brit Award, thank you.”

View the winners list in full